A Letter to the Medical Profession

Dear Medical Profession,

I really wish that you all would kindly remember that we non-medical people do not know what you know.

For example, when a person is preparing for surgery (as I am this coming Monday), it’s a good idea to have them speak to one person, not two or three. As you know, prior to surgery the usual prep is to stop taking certain medicines and/or herbal remedies. As you also know, patient records are available in your hospitals, and you can check what meds/herbals the patient is taking.

Why am I bringing this up? Here’s why: I had two people call me and go through my meds. One said to stop taking multi-vitamins. The other said it was all right. One said to stop taking aspirin. The other said it was all right. What is wrong with this picture?

Also when speaking with said patient, please remember that you are dealing with a person who may be fearful about their surgery. Please also remember that they are not familiar with all hospital policies.

I know and appreciate that you are hard-working and good people. I also know that you are often over-burdened with your job. Things happen that are not your fault, yet you get blamed for them. This is not fair; I get it, and I don’t wish to be part of the problem.

All I’m asking is that you please put yourself in the shoes of the patient who is bugging you with questions and concerns. Please know that most of us appreciate all you do, and are grateful for your help.

But when a person is facing surgery, they may just be scared and want reassurance. We are apt to make you repeat things, ask you annoying questions, shout at you when you don’t deserve it, and generally make asses out of ourselves. As you know well, patients are often not patient.

We have watched too many doctor shows where “routine” surgeries go badly. We have talked with people who have had bad experiences at hospitals. We are scared, and we then act like whiny kids because we are scared.

I know that this is a lot to ask of you all. Just please remember that we patients do not what you know, we don’t know how things work in a hospital, we are nervous and a little understanding goes a long way.


Your patient



4 thoughts on “A Letter to the Medical Profession

  1. Jodi says:

    medication reconciliation always seems to be the biggest issue – argh!!! Hope all goes well Monday Jane. I sure will be thinking of you!

  2. lulujbf7 says:

    Thank you so much, Jodi!

  3. Alison Jolda says:

    Omg….. this was so well written. I would like to share this with some friends eventually if you don’t mind. I totally agree with everything you said. Some professionals tend to forget that the rest of us have no clue as to what is going to happen or how or even when. I find it extremely frustrating when you get two different answers to the same question. ( and you should stop the aspirin because it will increase bleeding…. but I don’t know your dose so check to be sure). Oh wait, you did check!!😜 Do not feel guilty about asking things twice or having things explained so you and Doug understand them. As a healthcare professional (former) we always like patients who are informed. You’d be surprised at how many people have absolutely no clue about what meds they take or why they take them. And follow up. ……don’t even get me started. So good luck on Monday. I will be on a van returning to San Salvador from Antigua where we are for the weekend so will spend some of that time praying for you . We return home on the 18th and I’ll be in touch. Love you, Lissa

  4. lulujbf7 says:

    Thanks so much, Lissa! Yes, please do share this message. I really think that the medical profession really does want informed patients, but they don’t always have the time to do all they are required to do; I can’t even imagine the stress!

    Thanks for your prayers! Be safe on your way home.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s