On Wednesday I took my elderly mother to an appointment with an eye surgeon to see about having cataract surgery. We had gone thru a number of meetings and checks at the doctors office before having this appointment in which the doctor was supposed to explain the procedure in detail. My mother and I were called in after a short wait and when the doctor came in she immediately asked us to watch a video rather than have her explain the procedure. I could tell my mother was unsure and rather worried so I asked the doctor a number of questions on her behalf. After one of the questions which was answered with a rather oddly – I felt – I asked, ‘Are you kidding?’. And this is when the entire tone of the appointment completely changed.
The doctor turned in her chair, looked me strait in the eye and – in a very condescending manor said, ’Sir, I am avery busy person and i don’t have time for jokes.’ Okay, I first thought, she is busy and has misunderstood my question. Keep in mind, he is an eye surgeon and the closest I have ever come to eye surgery is applying eye drops.
My mother was very quickly explained the procedure and was getting nervous about the whole thing. Rather than the doctor slowing down ( my mother is almost 90 ) she turned back to me and said, ‘Well, I’m glad you’re here’ – insinuating my mother is old and she doesn’t have time to slow down and answer her questions. In the end we decided my mother would not have the surgery – which was met by an attitude of, ‘okay fine’ and the doctor leaving.
Never before have I felt belittled, brow-beaten and looked down upon by anyone the way we were this past week by this surgeon. Clearly they never taught the doctor any sort of bedside manor and just because you know how to use a scalpel – that doesn’t give you the right to act like an arrogant, self-centred, condescending…