Monday, April 2, 2012


Throughout the reading, Groopman portrays many exemplary doctors that can almost be seen as angels compared to the doctors we know  in reality. Sometimes I honestly doubted that such doctors existed because they sounded so unlike the doctors I faced. Reading this book, I realized how demanding it is to be a "good" doctor. The ideal doctor to me was one who is very knowledgeable in his or her area of expertise. After all, they have to be highly skilled so that a patient can be cured of any disease. And even if a doctor had an awful personality, it won't matter as long as he or she fixed the problem. However, I realized that it is not only knowledge that can cure a disease. It is also not the end result that is important but the process of finding the treatment. And this process deals with a lot of humility from the doctor's part.

I feel that people tend to put doctors on a pedestal and treat them as gods. This is why it is hard for people to question them on anything and why they tend to do whatever their doctors tell them to do. We sometimes forget that they are just like us, capable of making many mistakes. Doctors can't control or know everything, which is a hard truth to absorb since we want our doctors to be all powerful/all-knowing and be able to treat us. And for a doctor to be humble and acknowledge that he can't know everything really goes against the standards that we have in society. I question if humility can be a characteristic that can easily be developed or if it's a trait that one has to be born with because I now believe that all doctors should be humble. This humility can give patients the opportunities to receive better treatment just by doctors referring them to other doctors. And I feel that with humility comes honesty so patients can trust in their doctors more instead of hopping around to multiple doctors. People tend to lack this kind of interaction with their doctor since we can easily switch to another doctor if we don't like him. It just goes to show how doctors have to be very understanding of their patients. Overall, this book has shed light on the doctor's perspective which I was blinded to.

1 comment:

  1. I, too, think humility is an important attribute in a doctor. I imagine that since the medical school environment is rank-based and there's a lot of competition, those at the top of their class might make promising doctors but neglect to remain humble, and may bring that lack of humility when they start treating patients. Personally, if I were ill and a doctor didn't know what was wrong with me, I'd rather have him or her refer me to someone who might have more tools to figure it out, or at the very least acknowledge that they didn't the clearest idea of what was going on but could employ XY and Z tactics to figure it out. As Groopman makes clear, though, there are a lot of doctors with a lot of pride who wouldn't be so inclined to act with humility.