Dastardly Doctors and Fighting The Good Fight

My husband returned from seeing a liver specialist today who shouted at him and told him off for not taking the full dose of his meds because it hasn’t always been practical to take three a day, even though his levels are now excellent. It was this – as well as countless other experiences with bad doctors – that inspired this poem.

I enter the doctor’s office frustrated and sad

My health condition is driving me mad

Some don’t understand what it’s like to be sick

To come across as if you were thick

Doctor odysseys from place to place

Never giving up hope, but hoping they’ll take your case

Too many don’t listen, are too quick to judge

Treat a grown man like a child

On their opinions they won’t budge

They act like the Almighty

But they are fallible too

Don’t always take responsibility

For the bad things that they do

Some give us back our lives

Some hold us ransom

The price we pay is often handsome

I wonder why some choose the helping profession

When their manner lacks respect

And unpleasantness is their confession

Do they really give a care

And are they well and truly aware

How many patients suffer at their hands

Across the world and across many lands?

But now there is you, you, you and me

And we’re fighting the fight of patient advocacy

Raising awareness for proper care

And what needs to be done for us to get there

We’re in this together with the doctors who do care

Do their best and are aware

Since the dawn of the Internet

Support groups have bloomed

And many of us no longer feel doomed

We’ve learned to take responsibility for our own health

Because we need to take care of ourselves

Doctors are our partners, but they can’t always get us well

Or extricate us from our own personal hell

We need to be active, we must be proactive

And with others to support us

This option seems more attractive

None of us need ever feel alone

We connect with others from our own home

Doctors expect patient compliance

But there’s also a danger of overreliance

Today’s patients can think for themselves

And that is quite vital to regain our health.

By Sarah Downing

My name is Sarah. I was born and grew up in England and currently live in Düsseldorf, Germany, with my fiancé Corey and my cuddly cat Biscuit. I work as a translator and writer for my own company Aardwolf Text Services (www.aardwolf.de) and I love vintage clothes and music, as well as singing karaoke.


  1. I found that those docs I really like, are the ones that practice a teamwork approach.  Explaining to me what and, more importantly, why they want to do certain things, and what the options or possible consequences are. 

    I get extremely unhappy when I encounter one of them dictatorial types. Usually I will either look for a different doctor right away, or I will push back by blocking decisions until my questions and concerns are satisfied.  But it takes guts to stand up to the “gods in the white smock”!!
    (living in the US, and having a physician as a personal friend, helped me to talk back to the condescending types in the medical profession)

    I also just can’t stand doctors responding with stuff  like “oh, it doesn’t hurt to try this” !!  Of course it hurts, if not physically, then it will hurt psychologically because the doctor has no real clue and is on a fishing expedition, or it will hurt financially (in countries where you have to pay a portion of the treatment yourself.)

    Great poem Sarah!! 


    1. Hey HD,

      Thanks so much for your comment. I also agree that teamwork is vital and – like you – cannot tolerate a doctor looking down on me or being patronising. You made some great points and they really ring true. I am very glad that you have learned to hold your own and be your own best advocate when dealing with difficult doctors. I believe this should be even easier for Corey and me in the US – whilst I speak German, I can be so much snarkier in English if and when it is needed …



  2. Great poem, Sarah! I’ve run into docs like this. They seem to forget they are dealing with intelligent human beings. Very frustrating being treated like a child who needs scolding! Impossible to work with someone like thst. Glad to hear Corey’s levels are excellent!

    1. Thanks, Lori. I think we’ve all had our fair share of shit doctors!:-(. They seem to think they are the only ones that possess any kind of intelligence – arrogant and rude. I’m telling you once we get to the US I will be giving them short thrift. I can stick up for myself in German, but I can be more cutting in English when I need to be. I’m glad Corey’s levels are good too because he’s tried long enough to reduce them. Thankfully the synthetic bear bile (US equivalent of Actigall) is working really well.



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