All Idiots Together

The thing I hate most about going to the doctor, aside from the seemingly inevitable “God, you’re fat!” lecture (though, in all fairness to this batch of doctors, it hasn’t come up) is that doctors in Tennessee treat you like you’re an idiot.

In fact, I have only ever had one doctor in Tennessee who didn’t and he asked me right up front how much education I had, how familiar I was with medical terms and how comfortable I was with talking about complex procedures.

Yesterday, this doctor tried to explain to me where my tonsils were.

I have to tell you, I’m afraid I was snippy with him.  I mean, please!  I know where my fucking tonsils are.  Shit.  I know more about lymph nodes than I ever cared to.

But I think probably what caused the look of horror on my face was realizing first that he was going to explain to me where my tonsils were and then realizing that he was going to explain to me where my tonsils were because most of his patients don’t know.

And, Tennesee, I love you.  You know I do.  But I have to tell you something from the bottom of my heart.  There is no amount of money in the world that is too much money to make sure that your residents have a basic knowledge of things–a basic knowledge of anatomy, math, reading, etc.

Listen, I know public schools can mismanage funds.  But that just means you have to keep on them.  I only have a high-school amount of biology in my background and I know where my tonsils are and other basic anatomical features of my anatomy.  If I can know that, so can you.

The fact that you don’t says to me that there is something deeply wrong with your educational system.

16 thoughts on “All Idiots Together

  1. Pingback: Nashville is Talking » I’ll Take “Where are Your Tonsils for $200, Alex”

  2. Did you enjoy explaining to him why he couldn’t find them?

    That happened to me. Bugger didn’t even read the medical history they were so INSISTENT that I fill out. And then he freaked out when he couldn’t find my tonsils. Which have been gone since 1973, thankyouverymuch.

    Nope, didn’t go back, either.

  3. Oh, I hate that. I mean, it’s lovely that they want to educate me about my body and all, but it would also be lovely if they asked how much I already understood. The gender dynamics are there as well, depending on the doctor. It was always sad when my Dad’s doctor talked some high-level turkey with Dad (who had pulled out of third grade to sharecrop and never went back) and broke it down for me like I had been out behind the bleachers sniffing glue during 9th grade health class.

  4. That’s why I absolutely love my doctor. He’s really cool and is always telling me neat stuff, he calls it “med school 101”. He taught me how to listen for pneumonia, what an ear infection looks like, things that he considers when deciding if sinus problems are bacterial or viral, etc. He also taught me a neat math trick but since math is not my forte, I’ve already forgotten it. But yeah, my doc is fabulous and doesn’t treat me like a child. More like a first year med student, which is kinda neat.

  5. I’ve obviously been really lucky with the whole doctor thing — even though I hate going to them. The last one I went to, at the CVS minute clinic, was even good and non-condescending.

    Wait…. all my doctors are women. Could that be it?

  6. Careful that yout are not making the same assumptions that your Dr. did. There are natives here, who are educated and avoided most of the stereotypical pitfalls that people assume we have.

    That said, I would reccomend that you check where your Dr. is from, I bet he’s not a native either.

    I have noticed more age discrimination in how medical people talk to my parents and older relatives versus how they communcate with me.

  7. Last time I went to the doctor there were eight, count ’em, eight drug reps lined up at the reception desk signing some clipboard. When I finally got back to the doc’s inner sanctum I asked the sloppily dressed nurse (I assume) if it was “drug detail” day. She was amazed I knew the code name for the folks assigned to talk the docs into prescribing their new, whiz-bang, and super expensive drugs.

    Don’t think the doc has ever had occasion to note that I, too, am tonsil-less having had them unceremoniously ripped out when I was seven years old some ummmmhummmmm years ago.

  8. Pingback: Volunteer Voters » Are Tennesseans Uneducated? Or Apathetic?

  9. You know, when the doctor was inserting the swab into my pee pee hole to see why it felt like it was burning, he was real professional in not talking down to me.

  10. Lee, it’s my understanding that when a fine looking gentleman such as yourself goes into the doctor’s office and has a problem that starts with “I’d just gotten done with my 4th menage a trois of the evening when I noticed…” you don’t get talked down to, you get high-fived.

  11. I’m sorry. I just have to say that I love a man who’s all like “Sure, back in the day I could have satisfied 8 women in an evening…”

    That just tickles me.

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