How do you know a doctor respects your opinion?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Jeananne 1 year ago.

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  • #54961 Reply

    Cori Carl

    Many of us have dealt with doctors and other medical professions we felt disregarded our insights and disrespected us. How do you know when a doctor *respects* your opinion?

  • #54983 Reply

    Adrienne Gruberg

    I worked very hard to establish good working relationships with Steve’s doctors and nurses as well as my own. Earning their respect was key to having an honest dialogue with them regarding Steve’s treatments, surgeries, medication, home care, mental state——you name it. These relationships were serious business, and I treated them as such. I dressed to be taken seriously and I recommend anyone acting as a representative of or advocate for someone they’re caring for does the same.

    Our physicians respected both of us——we always asked informed and insightful questions. We never wasted their time——they ended up enjoying visiting with us and going into conversations they might not have had with a more uninformed couple.

    I don’t mean you have to do research about stuff you will never understand, but if you read up on the patient’s condition as much as you can, it will make the questions you do ask more intelligent. Dr.’s respect that. You have taken the time to care and to find out what you don’t know. It’s work to be taken seriously, but there are few people in life you need to be respected by as much as your loved one’s doctors.

    The time finally came in Steve’s treatment when I really tested this out. We’d spent years with the same doctor, seeing him every three months. He knew us. He cared about us because we were always engaged and engaging. When the doctor told us there was only one thing left to try to see if they could stop the cancer from spreading——even make it shrink. I wasn’t buying it. I lived with this man. I knew something had changed and I wasn’t going to be given a non-committal prognosis. There were too many telltale signs that Steve’s condition was worsening, and fast. I found our doctor while Steve was being treated by technicians and told him I needed to know the truth. What could I realistically expect further treatment to accomplish and in all honesty, how long did he have to live? I pressed and finally got an answer. I needed to be ready for anything.

    I’m telling you all this because we can all do more to gain the respect of doctors and their surrogates. We can start with the little things. We can speak softly but firmly. We can ask intelligent questions. We can learn as much about our loved one’s illness as possible. It’s well worth the effort. The doctors know more than we do about sickness, we are the experts on our carees.

  • #55003 Reply


    That’s a good question. I sure know when a doctor disrespects me, but it’s harder to say how I know when someone treats me with respect. I know doctors are always pressed for time, so it means a lot when a doctor takes the time to talk to both of us and make sure our questions are answered. It means even more when a doctor will let us call or email with questions and actually get back to us.

    Some doctors seem to already have a diagnosis or explanation in their head when we walk into the room and pay scant attention to anything me or my wife says. Listening is the biggest thing. The tests can tell you a lot, but my wife knows her body best and I know her best. We each have our own version of normal, since not a one of us on this earth is average.

  • #55242 Reply


    Some doctors listen to my concerns, some don’t. They’re not subtle about seeing us as cheap labor. We’re there to save insurance companies money, not to be listened to.

    Not all doctors are like that. Some are wonderful and really understand we’re a family unit. The patient can’t be the only one who matters.

  • #55457 Reply


    Listening is really key. If someone listens to my concerns, that’s how I know they respect me.

  • #55727 Reply


    I am an Advanced Fellow in Geriatrics and actually this topic is near and dear to me. I was the caregiver for my Mom during several illnesses then full time for about the last 6 months of her life. The medical care-caregiver interaction is often difficult. My current research project is examining this interaction and thinking of ways to better support the caregiver by identifying the caregiver as a caregiver, including the caregiver in decision making, and finally by assisting the caregiver with access to resources if the caregiver is experiencing stress. Please please take a moment to let your voice be heard and take this very brief survey. Just click on the link and it will take you to the survey. Please pass this on to your friends who are caregivers. I am including the links for medical providers and for social worker/case managers. If you are able to send them the link electronically that would be great. These surveys are very brief and only take a few minutes of time. We will be using the results of these surveys to develop a very brief screening tool for caregiver stress syndrome and to then look at care transitions and a program to support caregivers.

    Caregiver –

    Social Work / Case Management / Discharge Planner –

    Primary Care Provider –

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