Jerk Doctors

I'm 25 and have been going to doctors on my own since I was 15-16. Doctors should assume I've been going since I was at least 18, right? I look young and could probably pass for 17 or so if I tried.
Anyway, my 2 primary doctors treat me really well and get that I understand the system. They don't automatically explain EVERYTHING assuming that there's no possible way I can know, but instead let me ask if I need to. Any specialists or whatever they send me to, though,always treat me like crap and think I can't possibly know anything because I'm young or whatever.
Anybody else have this problem? How do you deal with it?

(note: posted by/for friend who's a survivor, not self)


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  • my primary docs know that I'm a scientist and that my wife is a doctor. they realize that we understand most of the technical details, and will provide them. they don't go into excruciating detail about things we consider basic knowledge. they actually give me copies of my full blood test results.

    but yes, some specialists that don't know me can be irritating with their over-explaining of details I don't need explained, and avoiding the technical details that I actually want to know.

    to get some specialists to open up with the information I want to know, I'd had luck saying something like, "yes, doc, I understand [whatever it is they're trying to explain to me in more detail that they're giving me, to prove that I understand it better than they think], but what I really want to know is [whatever it is I want to know].

    sometimes, I've just walked out. for example, I was having an ingrown toenail problem when I was getting treated. I was in the hospital getting my chemo and I asked the doc on duty, who told me to see a podiatrist about it. I waited until I got out of MD Anderson, and saw a local podiatrist, who was all gung-ho about cutting me open. I had tried to impress upon him the import of my situation (I had very low platelets and cutting was absolutely NOT an option), and I don't think he believed me because he then decided to wait a couple weeks, which still would not have been sufficient to allow my platelets to get high enough for surgery, no matter how minor. dude was a f'n idiot, and I walked.

    I talked to my head oncologist, who gave me some new information about himself - he just so happened to have been a combat medic for the Israeli army in his younger years, and he saw TONS of foot problems. He hooked me up with a cheap no-surgery treatment option that the podiatrist wouldn't even mention to me. He fixed my foot problem after a couple weeks of soaks in epsom salts.

    I really don't think that podiatrist believed I knew what I was talking about. He was all, "your platelets can't be that low." No, I had a CBC two days prior that showed my platelets at 20,000 and they're still dropping. They will probably get down to about 6,000 or so and I'll probably need 2 or 3 transfusions (of at least 2 units of packed platelets each) before my body starts to produce more on its own. I know how this shit works. Listen to me and work with the circumstances.
  • nope. my doctors act like i went to medical school when i know nothing. they use jargon and dont explain and i usually have to use a nurse to translate.
  • I think a lot of it depends on how used to seeing patients the doctor is. I'm still relatively new to treatment but I've found that the specialists I see do a lot less explaining than the dr.'s and nurses that I see on a day to day basis. Seems like the specialists are used to patients who have already been through the 'regular docs' and know the basics. Remember that doctors are ppl too and if you don't feel like they're listening or explaining than speak up! I dumped my first oncologist b/c I didn't like his attitude and found someone who was supportive and 'fit' me. I wish you the best!