Thursday, September 22, 2011

Doctors out of context

I expect to see my doctor in a nice little exam room where I am the patient and they are the doctor. When I see the out of context, meaning out of an exam room, I am little put off. First of all, do they even recognize me and know my name when they don't have my file in their hand? They have hundreds of patients and I am not sure my newer doctors do know me in the blur of the patient roster without a little prompt.

But I always recognize my doctors. A few weeks ago I was at my PCP's nurse practitioner about my shoulder. When I walked into the waiting room, my PCP was walking out. I said hello and she said hello back. but I'm not sure she knew who I was. I was just a little startled to have someone coming out the door I was going in simultaneously as it was an 'excuse me' situation.

When I was looking for a new PCP last year, there is one doctor I ruled out automatically. She is the sister in law of a friend of mine. I have been to parties with her. I have always thought of her husband as my friend's hunky older brother. I don't think I want a doctor who I think of more as a friend. I know some people are friends with their doctors. Not me.

I belong to a monthly breast cancer support group at the hospital where I am treated. They often have a speaker come in - usually a physician or nutritionist, etc. But next month the speaker is my oncologist who is coming to talk about women's health issues. I just saw her a couple of weeks ago and am not sure I want to be in a discussion group situation with her. I can never keep my mouth shut in the first place and I want my conversations with her to be more one on one. I am not sure I feel comfortable enough to attend.

Then later in October is a free seminar at the hospital on the 'Promising Future of Cancer Care'. I am attending for several reasons - its free, the keynote speaker is Dr. Susan Love (and I have always wanted to hear more from her), they will have hors d'oeuvres after (and snacks are always good), and they will have speakers on several types of cancer - breast, lung, colorectal, head and neck, and prostate - and might even have some promising news for those of us in the two cancer category, and I always want to hear good news in regard to cancer care. If they can offer me more in the future, I am happy.

But the speakers are their oncologists. So I assume my oncologist will be there and possibly some of my other doctors. I think I can handle this as it will be a group situation.

I just always feel weird when I see my doctors out of context.

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