The GoldiDocs Phenomena
The world consists of three types of doctor. Three types of doctors who will grace your presence on any given stay in the hospital, foray into the nursing home, or visit to the office. You might have never given these archetypes a specific name, but they are immediately recognizable.
I'm not talking about medical knowledge or clinical savvy. I'm not pointing to differences in education or training.
Bedside manner. We're talking about bedside manner people!
Dr. Too Grumpy
She storms into the room with her mobile phone glued to her ear. Or better yet, a blue tooth device. She spits sarcasm at the invisible nurse on the other end of the line, or medical assistant, or god forbid, patient.
She barely regards you as she types away at the electronic medical record. Questions are stated, not asked. Eye contact is minimal, and the exam is brusk. Mechanical. There is no discussion, just bald commandments. Patient centered care and shared decision making is scoffed at.
She will not describe to you the physiologic underpinnings. She will not discuss the pros and cons. And if you dare to delay her from attending to her next patient, she will regard you with scorn and sarcasm.
She is perfectly capable, yet utterly unacceptable.
Dr. Too Nice
He will show his toothy grin as he coos in your ear. He will say that everything will be alright, even when it won't. His manner is soothing and infinitely gratuitous. You are the only one who exists at the moment. The only one he cares for.
He will give you narcotics if you ask for them. He will treat your common cold with antibiotics. The plan is to do what ever it takes for you to like him. For you to tell all your friends and keep coming back to his office.
He hates confrontation and would rather pander than have an honest, open conversation. Difficulty is his greatest adversary. Not illness. Not well being.
He will tell you exactly what you want to hear. Hold your hand. Lie through his teeth.
He is a perfectly nice guy, yet the most dangerous provider you will encounter.
Dr. Just Right
There are, believe it or not, doctors who are both kind and calm, but firm and knowledgeable. They exist in every hospital, nursing home, and physician office. They might not be the favorite. They may upset you from time to time.
They know how to just stand there and do nothing. When nothing is called for.
They may lecture you on diet and exercise, smoking and alcohol, stress and anxiety.
But you will know them when you see them.
If you see them.
They're a dying breed.