Field of Science

Life and Lemons: Follow-up on 'the' conversation

I told you we would get back to Dr. Ego Tistical

This isn't really about Dr. Tistical specifically, but the medical doctor (as opposed to nurses, EMTs, etc.) profession in general. Based on my experience I expect that a majority of medical doctors care deeply about titles and I wonder why. My issue isn't so much with the focus on titles, it's the implicit disrespect of others that comes with their use of titles. The conversation between myself, the Dr. Tistical, and the medical technician John, is one I have seen played out many times. The doctor goes by Dr., I have a Ph.D. so I am introduced as Dr., and the non-professionally degreed individual is referred to by their first name. (Of course if the doctor is unaware that I have a Ph.D., then I am also introduced by my first name.)
Establishing positive relationships, from here
Herein lies my issue, if you are going to introduce yourself as Dr. Tistical, your colleague is not John, it's Mr. Getoveryourself. By promoting your lofty accomplishments, but not granting your colleague, and dare I say fucking partner in the whole patient care-testing process, the same level of respect, you are a douchebag. In this specific conversation, Dr. Tistical always called me Angry, and I always called her Ego, until we were in the presence of John, then I was Dr. Choice. I am ok being introduced as Dr. Choice or Mr. Choice as I think we could do with certain level of formality in professional settings. When I introduce my son to new adult friends/colleagues, I almost always introduce them as Ms. or Dr. Lastnamehere. My issue is that I was introduced as Dr. Choice and John was introduced as John. Why not Mr. Getoveryourself or why not introduce me as Angry?

This is not an isolated case. I have met with many doctors over the last two months. They are uniformly introduced as Dr. Soandso. It's a toss-up on whether I am introduced or referred to as Angry or Dr. Choice. I have also met with many nurses, technicians, and other hospital staff. They are uniformly introduced by their first name. I am introduced or referred to almost always as Dr. Choice. Why? 

There are many ways a doctor could introduce themselves. For example, one could introduce themselves thusly: 
Hi I'm Ego, I'm your neurology doctor. How are you feeling today Angry?
This is the form the nurses and staff used to introduce themselves to me.

I want to stress that the interactions I had during my life and lemons episode with the doctors, nurses, and staff were wonderful. And my issues with introductions and titles were  mild. I did not get the sense that my doctors were being elitist snobs and I actually believe this is a training issue. When students are in the clinic they see the Dr./staff and Dr./patient interaction modeled. However, this culture can foster a cesspool of elitism where douchebaggery can thrive if not flourish. This is my reason for writing this post. For example, one weekend my ex-wife and I were in the elevator going to her lab when a guy wearing a lab coat got on. My ex introduced me to Paul (name not changed because he is a waste of space).
"Paul, Angry. Angry, Paul." 
"It's Dr. Imanarrogantfuck" immediately responded Imanarrogantfuck. 
Wow just fucking wow, was my only thought."Dr. Choice, Dept. of kissmyass" was my reply.
Paul looked somewhat abashed, maybe professionals don't ever wear jeans with holes in them like I had on or maybe MDs and/or PhDs in Paul's world do not marry non-MD and/or PhDs or maybe they don't allow their spouses to work. I don't know or care, from that instant on, Paul was and always will be a waste of a sperm and an egg. (Aside: Paul is a small man, literally and figuratively.)
A possible result of unreciprocated titles, from here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And if you're female? "Hello, sweetie, I'm Doctor Biggie".