1687. Facts Week: Pleasant Patients

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If I can, in addition to some facts, share some thoughts:

1) I identify mostly with the fifth doctor, and really frequently called my patients pleasant, maybe even if I didn’t have a pleasant time with them? It’s good to be pretty paranoid about not writing notes that bias future providers against your patients, so I hope a friendly adjective here or there didn’t hurt.

2) Ultimately, it’s probably a silly thing to include in your note and I’ve read some things suggesting you shouldn’t do it, but I think every doctor can afford two or three peccadilloes, so if you want to make this one of yours, go for it.

3) There are a lot more important things than your doctor thinking you are pleasant. Your doctor is a person, so it is good to treat them well, but also remember that if you are seeing a doctor, your main goal is to get what you need for your health, whether it is advice, information, answers, or treatment.

4) This is an absolutely charming, heartbreaking essay called How To Be a Good Patient.

5) My favorite medical school instructor HATED when people called patients “males and females” rather than “men and women” because it was dehumanizing. He would call people out on it. He is fantastic and I learned a lot from him.

6) Doctors almost never ask a patient their race. They just guess and include it in notes as important data, and I hate this!

Incidentally, Friday’s comic will be about the winner of yesterday’s poll.