Why I’m Angry At Doctors

Over the summer, I wrote a love letter to doctors intended to help me release some of the charge I still feel regarding the way doctors have treated me throughout my medical training and in my old practice. I wrote the letter as a letter of forgiveness, but I recently did a session with an energy healer and realized that I still carry some old baggage around this issue.

I was already feeling a little wounded regarding my relationship with doctors as a whole. Just to clarify, I have many personal friendships with doctors whom I love very much. My father was a doctor. And I am a doctor. So Iím not some doctor-basher standing in the wings. When I say Iím pissed at doctors, I include the doctor I was (until four years ago) on the list of docs I want to give a piece of my mind.

What Iím referring to is not any individual doctor. Iím talking about doctors with a capital ďD.Ē Iím referring to the institution. The American Medical Association. The colleges and medical schools that train doctors. The collective body of doctorhood. You get the picture. This is what I mean when I say Iím pissed at doctors. Iím embarrassed, ashamed, and horrified at what is happening to my profession, and as someone from within it, I think itís high time to speak up.

Yesterday, I got an email from a friend of mine who just came back from seeing a doctor.

Here’s what she said.

Lissa, if this doctor robs me as I leave the building, I wouldn’t be able to confirm it was him, as I donít think he looked at me once. From the nurse intake to the actual exam room, both practitioners faced AWAY from me, towards their computer terminals, while they asked me questions and clicked away at the keyboard. The computer fed him my new prescription, and he never even discussed it with me. I am as disgusted as I am bewildered. If a computer program is all I need to monitor and refill prescriptions on my current or chronic conditions, then what the flying furry F-CK am I doing spending an hour in a waiting room, waiting to look at some guy’s back?!? Oh, and don’t forget — the nurse clearly put a wrong code into the computer, because he came in prepared to give me a BREAST exam, rather than listening to my asthmatic CHEST. I was like,”What are you talking about, sir? You have the wrong information or else the wrong room.” Sigh. Iím so so so so mad right now. Iím never coming here ever again. You keep to doing it the right way, sister. I appreciate you so much.

This email prompted me to take a long hike on a remote ocean view trail far from civilization. The more I thought about it, the more angry I became, until I finally stopped, planted my feet on the earth, raised my arms, and screamed. Literally, I stood there like a crazy person and shrieked until my throat hurt. And then my screaming turned to tears, until I was sobbing uncontrollably, blubbering, hot, fierce tears of anger, sadness, and hurt that lasted almost two hours.

Why was I crying?

Because they hurt me, those doctors. I led a sheltered life as a child. With loving parents and a nurturing home life, I wasnít prepared for the abuse that started in medical school. The innocent, naÔve 22 year-old I was didnít know how to cope with surgeons throwing scalpels at me, doctors sexually harassing me, or teachers forcing me to take anti-nausea medication and wear Depends so I could scrub into surgery when I had the flu. I didnít know how to handle the professor who said, ďI didnít even go to my own fatherís funeralĒ when I begged for two days off so I could attend my grandmotherís wake. I wasnít prepared to cope with sleep deprivation and meal-skipping that left me weighing 100 pounds at 5í5Ē tall, and vicious, threatening verbal attacks from narcissistic doctors hell bent on knocking me down.

But itís more than that, really. I was also crying for the doctors with their backs to patients and their hands on doorknobs, ready to bolt. I cried for my boss who forced me to see 40 patients a day until I quit practicing medicine for two years because I knew it wasnít supposed to be this way. I cried over managed care and malpractice attorneys and technological ďadvancesĒ that have turned many doctors into highly skilled mechanics who donít have a clue how to be with a human. I cried because nobody ever taught me in medical school that thereís a difference between healing and curing, and that you can cure without healing or heal without curing.

Something has happened, at least in the United States, that has made doctors lose the heart of medicine. Too many docs have gone from being healers to being doctorbots who churn through patients in 7Ĺ minutes. Even mechanics spend more time with their ďpatientsĒ than they do these days.

And where is the love?

Before antibiotics, chemotherapy, safe surgery, and other modern inventions, all doctors could really do was sit at the bedside and attend to the family when someone was ill. Now we have vaccinations and ventilators and virus-fighting medications, but look what weíve lost. Weíve lost bedside manner, hand-holding, and hugs.

I donít claim to have all the answers, but I know that Iím doing whatís right for me. And Iím not alone in the desire for this kind of medicine.† People want to reclaim the heart of medicine. Most of us just donít know where to start.

I know things can change. But it takes awareness.

What do you think? Have you had tough doctor experiences? Is your doctor there for you? Do you feel heard and understood? Do you steer clear of doctors? Tell us what you think.

Related Links:
The Art of Medicine
18 Biggest Problems with Modern Medicine

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Summerannie Moon
Summerannie M.3 years ago

I tend to agree with you Lissa. Soo sad hey? i have been to my dr for around 12 years so i have a close relationship with her but i still have to fight for me. I have to constantly say I think this drug isnt good for me and she will change it however I have such a truckload of issues it must be a ho hum situation just listening despite the issues. Mind you if Im not happy i tell her and when my sore on my ankle was healing i said take a look at it, my Dr sent her off to see the nurse, she applied stuff and steri strips and I became allergic. Well within a week I got a huge ulcer appearing. With a wink in my eye I said..... nope not going to the nurse any more Im doing it myself.Today its 98% healed.
REcently I went to a Vets clinic all bar one, were totally indifferent, couldnt care less, I was there for less than 10 mins for them to see my very ill cat and she couldnt have cared. She was new!!! Another vet there I had seen in weeks earlier. Dear me she was crappy as well but not as bad as the latter lady. It was the first vet who put my baby to sleep. I really believe there are many in different jobs and not necessarily solely Drs/GP's/Specialists and the like who are so indifferent. itss everywhere! Its like a silent, hurry up ...Im busy, tell me what you want/need/condition and telll it fast b/c I have a ton of people waiting (and the more I get the more money I get for an o/seas holiday) Maybe this is the story I have no idea but they do get kick backs. Not sure re my D

Winn Adams
Winn Adams3 years ago


Eddie C.
Past Member 3 years ago

I am so much agreement with you Lissa, the medical profession has changed into an assembly line money making venture. The arrogance of the people in this field has completely isolated them from humanity. There is emotion, or compassion. So many doctors have become nothing more than drug dealers that hook people on lifetime medications that cost them everything, and cure nothing. I hope that the awareness causes more Real Doctors to take notice, and decide to help people more than bleed them dry.

J.L. A.
JL A.3 years ago

thanks--we all grieve when we see a world or a part of it that is less than it can and should be

K s Goh
KS Goh4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Patricia Y.
Patricia Y.4 years ago

The info in this article is so true. I despise having to go to the doctor. I feel it is basically a waste of my time. Usually after a visit I think why did I bother?

Christine D.

Great article Lissa!!! I just joined Care2 and you're the one I felt I'd write my first comment to. I enjoyed several others of yours, but this one nearly had me in tears with you. You are an amazing person to see through the veil. I haven't been to a Dr in over 7 years and that was for my last PAP. I'm not amused with any of it anymore. I have a garden and use worms to create my fertilizer. I eat (rinsed clean) most things within minutes of picking still raw after I've thanked Mother Earth and the plant I picked from. Health is an attitude and we all need to trust in ourselves more. Haven't we read in countless articles about how we all have cancer? It just depends on how healthy you are whether your own body can clear it away. I'm trusting totally in my inner wisdom when it comes to my health. So far, it's been right on!!!

Helene Cardinal
Helene Cardinal4 years ago

Yes I agree, what has happened to our health industry. I have had terrible experiences as well. All my doctors does is operate on me. I have had 6 operations in the last 3 years for pre cancer in the same area, without good results, now I was told the other day that I now have cancer. So now they handed me over to a cancer surgeon who wants to operate and maybe take out some of my lymph nodes.I am so discouraged and so fed up. These doctors don't talk to me hardly or take time to explain things. They don't treat the problem they only want to operate and kill my immune system with each operation.My immune system is the problem to begin with so now with all the operations it is far worse. What a joke these doctors are. Now I am trying to read everything i can on alternative medicines and cure, and hoping i can heal myself.

Margaret P.
Margaret P.4 years ago

It is very sad but it is true. I believe it is even worse based on my own experiences which are too many to talk about. To summarize it, I had too many surgeries because my primary physicians lacked the knowledge and the time to find the medical therapies for the problems. Surgeons don't care. They just want to cut so they can make money. They don't know about any other way to treat patients either. I almost had my parathyroid glands removed last year because I had hypercalcemia. I hesitated and started reading. I found out that vitamin D blood level was almost non-existent. How did I find out? I told the doctor to get it checked. She never mentioned vitamin D to me. Unfortunately, I was losing the calcium from my bones and now I have osteopenia. I'm working on my own health and I will tell the doctors what to do for me. Educate yourselves. The doctors don't have time to do it for you.

Alexandria Sy
Alexa Angeles4 years ago

The situation is worst in my Country. Many doctors sell medicines right in their offices. Another really bothersome practice is the regular recommendations for ultra sound test, x-rays and lab exams. These are required in almost every, I repeat, almost every Doc consultation. Almost all Docs require that patients undergo the same tests,notwithstanding, that on that same day, he used a complete set of test with another Doctor, for another complain.it has become a practice here to see a specialist for even the simplest complaint. So, three different sickness would mean three different specialists with three different set of lab tests.By the time you're out of their clinics, you are dazed, sicker and poorer but fully armed with bullets for your own slow death, a bag of antibiotics and pain killers. 7 out of 10 patients go under the knife for all reasons from cramps to lumps, from stones to bones, from head to toe (quickest get-rich-scheme). The scalpel is their weapon for the loot. My heart cries for the poor and ignorant who pay homage to these pseudo gods of healing. It is no wonder that many opt to see village healers instead. A blessing for a third world Country for trying times like these. I enjoy reading your articles...they are humorous, very informative, passionate and so full of life.More power to you...You really have a great and gentle heart.