First off, I am a student, not yet a doctor. Around two weeks ago I had one of the most frustrating discussions of my life with my stepmother and stepsister. The comment that kicked it off (by the way, not completely accurate quoting, but I am trying to recall it as good as I can) was "I have to wait 3 weeks to see a GP in Sweden. That's completely unacceptable." So I thought 'nice, lets have a civilized discussion about healthcare'…I was wrong.
What really upset me were actually two statements. "Doctors shouldn't whine about 24h shifts…people in 7-elevens also work that long. There is no difference between those retail workers and doctors. Just because you are a doctor, you are not special and you knew what you signed up for." Excuse my language but what the actual fuck. That is complete nonsense…I don't think anyone in their right mind would choose a surgeon that hasn't slept in 24 hours to do their open heart surgery or rely on the diagnostic skills of an ER doctor that has the third night shift in a row when they have an aortic dissection. I don't think being a doctor makes you a better person then someone else per se, but this bullshit sentence that 'medicine is like every other profession' is just not true.
The other sentence was "healthcare is a service like car maintenance or finance etc. and you (me) have to treat the paying customer with respect". Yeeeahh…no! Sweden has public health care, same as Germany and Switzerland (all countries that were relevant in the discussion), so YOU are not paying anyone, your insurance is. And of course I treat every PATIENT (not customer, where the hell are we…) with respect, but if someone thinks they are entitled to go to an ER and demand to see a doctor right away for their menstrual pain or stress headache or home-measured BP of 128/70mmHg then I am going to tell them that that's just not going to happen. Sorry for this small rant, I just got really frustrated, seeing that they both actually think like this. I love how everyone is an expert when it comes to medicine. Would like to hear your opinion on this, maybe I am just a dumb med-student 🙂
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