Dear Doctors

Dear Doctors is a regular series

Dear Doctors, one and all. You work in hospitals, surrounded by very sick people. Most of your friends do too. But just because I have a label in your language does not mean that I am sick, or from your world. Please speak to me like a normal human bean. Thank you, Kate

Dear Doctors, one and all,
Write it down. That’s all.
P.S. What was it you have to pick up on the way home tonight? There’s a note in your bag so you don’t forget something? Yeah, funny that. We’re all human.

Dear Doctors, one and all,
You say what, and I say how?
The what bit is easy, let’s talk about how this new advice is going to find a place in my life.
Thanks, Kate

Dear Doctors, one and all,
When you ask me “how are the sugars?” or “what do your sugars vary between?” you show me you don’t understand type 1 diabetes at all. I switch off at that point.
Regards, Mel

Dear Doctors, one and all,
You don’t get to choose what I’m worried about.  If I ask a question, please don’t respond with a “you don’t need to worry about that now”, either direct or inferred.  Add “your pretty little head” and it would be so rude it would cross over to funny.  But it’s not funny, it’s scary.  Please give me the information I asked for, and if you can’t, say you can’t.
Thank you, Kate

Dear Doctors, the hospital ones,
Who are you? A simple description of your role in my treatment would be nice. A name would be polite. I don’t want your life story but before you poke, prod, jab, examine and get intimate with me in your special ways, a few words of introduction?
Thanks, Kate

Dear Doctors,
Please heal thyself first. A new survey last week said 4 in 10 doctors have very high levels of psychological distress. One in 10 have suicidal thoughts. 45% believe depression or anxiety is a sign of weakness. It’s a very tough job but we need you well. Please find a way to get and accept the help you need, first.
Thank you, Kate

Dear Doctors,
Why?  The blood test slip you just pushed across the table is slipping down my list of priorities already.  Below keeping my children alive, my boss content, my head above water.  Please tell me WHY I must do it.  Cos it feels like another ‘just because’, so it probably won’t happen, and I’ve failed again.
Thanks,  Kate


Dear Doctors,
I like appointment confirmations but now that I rely on them instead of being vigilant with my diary, please don’t phone me to confirm “tomorrow’s appointment” when the entire appointment relies on pathology results. I can’t get the tests done and the lab reports sent by tomorrow. Please confirm a week in advance and it’ll save us both a hassle.  Thx Mel


Dear Doctors,

I know that some of you are still afraid of the internet. Every single industry and profession has been transformed by the internet, you can’t fight it and why should you want to? The internet is never going to replace doctoring but it has enormous opportunities to improve healthcare and that’s in the interests of doctors as well as patients.  Get on board, there’s really nothing to be frightened of.  Mel

Dear Doctors,

Occasionally you have taken me to task for criticising your profession or your systems or even your or your colleagues research. I only do so when I feel it is warranted, when the profession or research or systems are harming patients. Like Jane Austen’s Lizzie Collins

“I hope I never ridicule (or rail against) what is wise or good. Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies do divert me, I own, and I laugh (or rant) at them whenever I can.” Mel

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