Doctors on the Most Annoying Things Patients Do
These real doctors are letting us know exactly what annoys them when we book an appointment.
Doctors on the Most Annoying Things Patients Do. Going to the doctor sucks; that’s something we can all agree on. However, it isn’t all peaches and cream on the doctor’s end. Sometimes, we do some pretty annoying stuff. The only difference is that doctors don’t usually tell us what we’re doing wrong or what annoys them—at least, most don’t.
For example, doctors hate it when you don’t follow the rules of a procedure. If you’re not supposed to eat before a surgery, don’t eat before a surgery. It’s as easy as that. Still, every day, people go to get a procedure done, and they’ve eaten recently. Do you know what could happen if you eat before a surgery? Aspiration, which could lead to death. Yeah, let’s not do that!
We’ve compiled a list of things that we, as patients, do that really annoys doctors. That being said, we do want to mention that these things shouldn’t keep you from going to the doctor. If you’re experiencing a medical issue, going to the doctor is your first line of defense. If you’re experiencing a medical emergency, go to the nearest ER as soon as possible. Don’t let any of these things deter you from seeking help. That’s actually something that annoys doctors, too.
Everything here is pulled from Reddit and actual medical professionals. It’s just some stuff to keep in mind next time you make an appointment.
Patients Too Scared to Go to the Doctor
If you have a problem, go to the doctor. Nothing is more annoying than when a patient foregoes essential medical care because they’re too scared or worried about personal judgment from the doctor. Most want to help you if you’re willing to listen.
Eating Before Surgery
If you eat before a surgery, the surgery will probably be canceled. If it isn’t, you risk vomiting into your lungs, which could cause infections or death. Plus, it’ll frustrate the nurses and doctors because that’s a slot someone else could’ve used.
Seduce the Doctor
Why? Just why? It happens way too often than it really should. Chances are, doctors and medical professionals will just call security if a patient tries to seduce them.
Not Knowing Basic Anatomy
So, one Reddit user (an ER doc) brought up a patient that came in, stating that their throat was torn open. Turns out, the patient was referring to their uvula. Know basic anatomy, folks.
Argue with Them
You’re welcome to disagree with your doctor, but it’s best not to say you know more because you Googled your symptoms. A Google search doesn’t equal a degree and years of experience.
Doctors don’t have a lot of time, so chatting about things that aren’t relevant to your problem isn’t cool. A little chatting, sure, but 15 minutes of stuff that isn’t relevant? Nah. This goes double in the ER. Don’t keep ER docs busy with idle chit-chat.
Having a Pain Level of Nine
If you’re at a pain level of nine, you better have something seriously wrong with you. If you’re sitting calmly, not writhing or sweating, and have normal vitals—you’re not at a nine. People experience pain differently but be realistic.
Not Following the Treatment Plan
Doctors care about their patients, and (depending on your illness) they spend a lot of time formulating your treatment plan. So, listening to the treatment plan and then ignoring advice is pretty rude. Why even go in the first place?
Just vaccinate, okay? For real. Vaccination stops the spread of diseases and prevents major outbreaks. The dude that said vaccines cause autism published his paper to get a paycheck from a pharmaceutical company and was later stripped of his right to practice medicine.
Lying About Habits
One of the biggest things that annoy doctors is when a patient lies to them. They ask about relevant stuff. It doesn’t matter if you’re on drugs. What matters is if you tell them, so they know how to treat you. If you lie, you could die.
Don’t get angry when a doctor won’t give you what you ask. When they prescribe Tylenol for a mild cold, that’s what you need. A cold doesn’t require antibiotics—in fact, it won’t help at all!
Being “Allergic” to Certain Pain Killers
Some patients actually go into their doctor saying they’re allergic to most pain killers so that they can get opiates. It’s obvious to the doctor that those patients are just drug seekers, and they’ll get a treatment suggestion of Tylenol.
Dr. Oz is a heart surgeon, so if he says something about the heart, he’s probably right. If he says something about nutrition or another part of the body, he’s probably wrong. Nowadays, he’s known for peddling pseudoscience, and docs hate it when patients follow his word to a “t.”
Pulling Docs Aside at ERs
This one is specific for ERs. You’re worried about your family, and everyone knows that. However, the doctor you’re pulling aside at the nurse’s station may not even know about your family member’s case. Wait for the doctor or nurse to come into the room.
Coming into the ER with Food
The ER is an Emergency Room. That means you need immediate care as quickly as possible. If you had time to stop for food, then is it really an emergency? There are plenty of quick care clinics to visit instead, and they’re a lot cheaper.
Arriving Late for Appointments
Have you ever wondered why your doctor was late? If they weren’t caught up talking to a patient that wanted to go on and on for 30 minutes about something not important, they were probably held up by a patient that was late. When the first appointment is late, it just compounds throughout the day.
Trying to Manipulate Doctors
Doctors know your medical history and can spot when they’re being manipulated. Don’t lie, try to manipulate, or scheme medical professionals. Plus, if you’re honest with your doc, they’ll like you and trust you more.
Not Follow DNRs
This one is tough. You love your family, and you don’t want to let them go. That being said, if your loved one has a DNR, the doctor’s hands are tied. Yelling and forcing them to do what’s against your loved one’s wishes won’t help anyone.
Torture Loved Ones
This one goes with the one above in a way. Your family is first and foremost, but what a patient wants is most important. If your loved one wants “comfort care,” then the doctor will want to provide it instead of pushing fluids, keeping them in the ICU, and treating them with medicines that’ll make them feel worse.
Not Providing Legal Names
If you want to be called Bill when your actual name is William, that’s fine. However, when medical professionals ask you for your legal name, give them the full legal name. Otherwise, you could be rejected life-saving medicine due to a discrepancy in the paperwork.
Not Showing Up for Appointments
If you can’t show up for an appointment, that’s fine, but do the courteous thing and let the office know. That time slot could go to another patient that really needs it.
Not Finishing Antibiotics
When you take half of your antibiotics, you’re bolstering the bacteria that are left over. This means it’ll be even harder to get rid of because the strongest will multiply. Basically, it leads to resistance.
Not Accepting a Diagnosis
Doctors are wrong sometimes. We’re not saying they’re right 100% of the time. That being said, if a doctor has evidence of your diagnosis and can source why they think so, it’s best to trust them. Get a second opinion but accepting their diagnosis can save your life.
Using Homeopathy in Place of Medical Treatments
There’s been a rise of people thinking that homeopathy can take the place of medical treatment—talk about something that annoys doctors! Homeopathic doctors often aren’t even real doctors, so you’re not getting treatment.
Lying About Symptoms
Don’t lie to your doctor about symptoms—it’s the first line of offense against beating whatever you have. If you’re going to the ER, lying about chest pains to get to the top of the waiting list is a douche move.
Being Disrespectful to Staff
Some people are nice to the doctor but super rude to the appointment coordinator or another member of staff. Doctors care about who they work with, so it’s annoying when someone is sweet as candy to them but rude to other people in the office.
Having Several Issues for One Appointment
Patients don’t know that appointments have a time limit. When a patient has several issues, they have around 20 minutes to go over all those issues, perform an exam, create a treatment plan, adjust medications, and arrange a follow-up. That ends up with the patient getting subpar care.
Not Knowing How Appointments Work
Did appointment time limits surprise you? It may also surprise you that the doctor has no control over the amount of time per patient—that’s actually set by the office or hospital group. It’s pretty aggravating when a doctor has to rush through five problems with one patient, or they’re late to multiple appointments, especially since it’s out of their control.
Bait and Switch
Bait and switch is when you make an appointment for one thing, but then change why you needed the appointment without saying anything. This is pretty annoying since the doctor prepared for the other issue.
The Doorknob Comment
This is a phrase used by doctors that refers to a comment that’s said as they’re walking out the door. For example, someone says that their wrist has been hurting a little, and they spend most of the appointment on that. Then, when the doctor is walking out the door, the patient mentions that they’ve had a difficult time breathing over the last couple of weeks.
This one isn’t toward the patient, but rather the school or company. Requiring a doctor’s note for a visit is a waste of everyone’s time. “Patient stated they had a cold. Examined and determined to have a cold. Thanks for wasting everyone’s time.”
Having a High Pain Threshold Yet Terrified of Needles
Needles suck, and we can all agree on that. Doctors find it annoying when patients say they have a high pain threshold, and then act like they’re being murdered when they have blood drawn or an IV inserted.
New-age medicine may help some problems, but it isn’t going to cure cancer. Furthermore, most claims have no evidence. If a patient says that beet juice can cure diabetes, their doctor probably wants to roll their eyes so hard they’d become their own neurologist.
Bringing Other Medical Professionals to the Appointment
Sometimes patients bring family members that have medical training to the appointment for the sole purpose of arguing with the doctor. If you want a second opinion, that’s fine, but the doctor wants to treat the patient—not argue with family members.
Blaming the Doctor
If a patient doesn’t follow a treatment plan, then the problem will persist or get worse. That’s just the way it is. Don’t blame the doctor for making things worse when the treatment plan was thrown out the window.
When you say it hurts, you gotta know where. If you’ve had a symptom, how long have you had it? “A while” can be anywhere between a few days to a few months depending on the person. Vomiting for a couple of days is bad but vomiting for two weeks is worse.
Smoking During Pregnancy
This one is a biggie. Smoking during pregnancy is harmful toward the baby, and honestly, it’s dangerous to the mother, too. Doctors will tell you that quitting smoking when pregnant is essential, and they’re more than happy to help you do so.
Expecting Pain-Free Solutions
Here’s the dealio: if you hurt yourself, the treatment may also hurt. Doctors hate it when patients come in with something broken and expect them to take the pain away while also fixing the problem. Treatment for stuff like this will hurt, but it’ll be better in the long run.
Patients Who Spread Illness
Everyone gets sick—it’s an unfortunate reality. When someone gets sick (and they’re contagious), they should stay home. Going out with a fever, coughing, and sneezing will just spread the illness. That’s how the flu gets so bad each year. Well, that and people don’t get vaccinated, but we’ve already touched on that.
Requesting Docs of a Certain Gender at the Appointment
If you want a male doctor instead of a female (or vice versa), don’t wait until the appointment to say something. At that point, you’re just wasting everyone’s time. Doctor offices will work with you, especially if it’s for religious reasons.