I Am A Doctor But

I'm not your doctor.

It is amazing how many people just start taking off their clothes and telling me what is wrong with them. 

I was at dinner with a companion when another restaurant patron inquired with the maitre 'd about me.  I usually wear something that is striking when I go to dinner. 

The patron came up to our table said his name and proceeded to get undressed while telling me his symptoms.  I was floored.  My dinner companion thought he was trying to flash me and nearly punched the man out.  The maitre 'd came to the table apologizing to me for telling the man that I am a doctor. Because the patron caused a scene at our table, dinner was free.

I'm not a mobile doctor.  I don't walk outside with a sign around my neck that says free clinic.

I have patients that I see in my office.  I'm not looking for new patients. The new patients I receive are from direct referrals because they need a specialist.

It all makes me laugh at times.  It is like someone saying I'm a doctor and people asking for a diagnosis for their foot or skin rash only to find out that the doctor is a dentist or research doctor.

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WildSpectrumArts WildSpectrumArts
46-50, F
31 Responses Jul 16, 2011

People used to do the same thing to my dad. We'd have somebody over for dinner and they'd start listing a bunch of symptoms and removing articles of clothing and it really was strange. I don't know how many times he had to tell them the same thing.

I am wondering how many of your patients think THEY are the doctor???
With the continuous onslaught of pharm ads on TV, they seem to encourage people to tell their doctor what to do.
" If you are experiencing X, Y and Z, tell your doctor about RxMiracleCure."

Lilt, I encourage my patients to talk to me about their problems. As all patients should do with their doctors. When a patient brings up a drug that we haven't discussed, it is usually because they have seen an advertisement for it. What they don't realize are the side affects for the medications that are advertised. Pharmaceutical companies are going directly to the consumer to push their products because many doctors don't want to be bothered with the sales pitch. There are very few medications out there that help my patients. I don't care about big pharma spreading money around to get doctors to prescribe their meds. I don't buy into it and don't want my patients to either. Usually, a patient knows if there is something wrong with them. That is what brings them to a doctor in the first place. If people actually paid attention to their bodies, they would be more empowered to take care of themselves and therefor be healthier than they currently are.

You are a doc with a very unique attitude. Already in love with you.
That is the exact attitude I always promote.
Nature has evolved in balance 100s of millions of years. Being one with nature and our nature (vegetarian) eliminates most of the health issues except some exceptional cases, for which doctors are there.
What happens today is an out of control lifestyle and wondering why we become addicted to drugs as our savior. Long live vegan.
What is your expertise as doc?

Sorry, Just saw, "neurosurgeon/neuropsychiatrist" - it's interesting in which cases you perform neurosurgery?
I'm personally except in cases of accidents or birth defects against performing surgeries. Some neurological issues can be solved via hypnosis, or psychological methods without in vivo intrusion.

I almost kind of feel sorry for the guy. I don't think he meant any harm. I think some people are just impulsive.

I don't feel sorry for anybody who displays poor behavior. Such behavior was completely uncalled for. Being drunk is not an excuse to be disruptive to others.

If he was drunk that's a different issue, but I wondered if he had mental disabilities or was 'slow'.

No, he was just drunk.

lol it is a similar occupational hazard with teachers . . . as soon as someone finds out you are one, they give you the run down on their child's reading problem etc But I can honestly say I have never had to put up with someone undressing for me! :)

So what kind of doctor are you, and what is your wine taste.

You should read the comments posted by others.

LOL... and some people expect you to diagnose their illness and prescribe them a treatment at a wedding or in the mall , without even running any test ! Magic doctors

I'm a nurse and I get the same response. I just laugh and roll along with it. People I think are for the most part lacking in self awareness that university/medical profession training has done for us and allied health (hopefully) therefore I see myself as being advantageous in the sense I have knowledge that they have immediate access to. Its like anything really.. like musicians are always giving away tips, information regarding musical theory or skills- why should our knowledge only be at the discretion of the clinical setting? Maybe you should just tell people that it annoys you- and see where that takes you. Or.. you could just giggle and provide feedback, knowing in yourself that their ignorance and lack of self awareness is their problem- not necessarily yours.

I love doctors, but free health care in australia means that this type of behaviour would seldom occur over here anyway.

Maybe free health care in america might save the doctors and nurses of providing information in a non clinical setting.

I usually look at people perplexed at how short-minded they can be and then I laugh.

Yeah thats the most pleasant response.. I guess before I got involved in health care I would have never been asked the questions I get asked now. So quite often I take it as a compliment, that people have some kind of faith in my ability to provide knowledge- despite not always having the right answers.. I do my best to reassure people and recommend them to someone who might know more (A doctor?) :) All the best. x

There are people who just don't get it. Usually someone else will point out to them that I am a doctor and then they slowly get it. Thank you.

1 More Response

adults are just giant children, and must be treated as such. As a Doctor you know the boundries are pushed constantly for your time, knowledge, and beyond...

rolf... it's funny and very realistic to have this farce happen.
glad that you were with a companion and not alone.
I would not want to face such a spectacle alone.

Take care :)

I'm a retired "shrink" and I get questions about all sorts on mental health situations from total strangers, but atleast they keep their pants on.

You are a lucky one. The minute someone hears neurosurgeon or neuropsychiatrist, they want to tell me about some issue that either they have or someone "they know" has and of course, they want free advice on how to help their "friend."

Come to think about it. I have this bump on .............................


Lol... I just came across your story and can totally relate... I haven't had anyone start taking their clothes off at a restaurant, but I have gotten hit with presc<x>ription refill requests, looking at odd rashes, and a zillion other medical questions when patients see me out in public. I don't mean to be rude, but now when I see patients outside the office, I tend to duck and walk the other way. But then I still questioned by family and friends... It never ends.

Sorry this ruined your dinner experience, but people just think doctors of any kind are auto-cure-machines they can plop a coin into and work their magic, no it doesn't work that way. There is a different doctor for every situation, and more or so likely should only be handled in a medical setting...not a casual environment...very embarrassing for they're only humiliating themselves. Funny story though, thanks for sharing you and King's stories are a joy to read. :)

Thank you Lushiro.

You're welcome!

Confused a bit, why did the stranger know you were a Doctor?<br />
<br />
Also why would he take clothes off at all I thought you were a shrink!<br />
<br />
People are strange.

Third and fourth paragraph: the man asked the maitre 'd who I was because of the striking outfit I was wearing. The maitre 'd told him that I am Dr. So and So. The man didn't know what kind of medicine I practiced. He just thought doctor and assumed whatever. He didn't know that I am a neurosurgeon/neuropsychiatrist. I am not a shrink. Yes, people are very strange.

lol..that is so funny and crazy..

Thank you for writing this story. It is amazing what some people will do in totally unrelated situations. I do indeed sympathise with you. But I also can't help but think of the fun I could have with such an idiot.

I could have a lot of fun but I realize that people ask questions because they really do have problems. People just need to learn to respect the boundaries of others.

i have a Female friend that is a Doctor in Psychology and She shares the same problems from others. either they want free medical advice or as She told me while looking for someone to get into a relationship with most people are afraid to open up and be themselves with Her over fears that She will analyze them, or figure out their deep dark secreets. Se said She has trouble finding a Man that She likes and will relax and just be two people without the stigma. You are a great contribution to society and deserve to be highly respected for who You are both as a Doctor, and as a person.

Thank you. I feel for your friend. The extra hit I get is because I am a psychiatrist there are people who ask me for prescriptions for medicines. I've gotten the "oh don't analyze me" as if I care to work 24/7 on somebody I just met. People who help others with emotional disturbances or mental diseases do it because we truly care about them and want them to have the best life they can. I don't appreciate it when people are rude and condescending based on their preconceived idea of what I do. I have taken my fair share of criticism especially on here. The Internet seems to make people think they can say anything to anybody without realizing that they are talking to an actual person. Thankfully, I have developed thick skin and quick reflexes. I am a person first, woman second, doctor third.

Thank you nodkat.

Thank You WildspectrumArts, i have seen through being a friend of another in Your position how ignorant others can be and feel for all that share that problem. people need to realize we all have our own personal lives and we are not on the job 24/7 or just because some wants free advice or information. You have invested a great amount of time, energy, and expense to attain Your goals in life and truly deserve much greater respect than many other people.

I'm an insurance guy. No one takes their clothes off in front of me : )

Aren't you a lucky guy? I would prefer if people kept their clothes on when talking to me especially in a public place like a restaurant.

Unbelievable. I was in sales for many years and some people would ask my advice on how to get the best deal from a competitor or ask afterwards if they got a good deal. That never went well.

I just read that story, and some of the comments. I must say, you must have a good sense of humor to be able to laugh about it. I appreciate that you are a doctor but would never ask you for advice in a forum as I feel that would be bad taste in etiquette. I also don't think anyone should put you on the spot and expect you to give medical advice to someone you haven't ever met, and know nothing about. I like this story, and i think you handled the situation well, considering that the guy who bothered you at dinner was likely mentally handicapped. Thanks for sharing. great Post....=)

Thank you Twilight. I believe he was impaired by alcohol. He was sweating profusely. Drunks. Always entertaining even when inappropriate.

I grew up with a mean one. I did find it entertaining when he fell flat on his face or his arse. Other than that, he was just rude, obnoxious, and cruel. I can understand why your date wanted to punch him...lol..

Funny that people feel they have the right to impose. You're a person first and foremost with a life to lead, and becoming a doctor came after that. I knew of a psychologist who, when at a social function was asked what she did for a living, her response was met everytime with an automatic freeze up and "Oh don't analyse me!". Yeah, because giving advice where it is not sought is so high on the agenda! Please....

Thank you Orchkiss! That was perfect. I must admit there have been times when people asked me what I did and I told them that I was an artist. They asked what kind of art and depending on who is was I would say stained-glass (I do make stained-glass art) or the mind. They would look perplexed at my answer of the mind. Then I would tell them I help other artists (we all are creative in some way) break through their mental blocks to create their art.
I just got tired of people making assumptions based on me being a psychiatrist. I don't go around with a scalpel ready to give someone a lobotomy.

Oh I can understand wanting to do that! But the other thing I'm thinking is maybe some people have a confusion with what a psychiatrist actually does. Yes, they are technically doctors, but really of a different kind. I don't know which country you are from but in Australia psychiatrists do not practice general medicine. Mental health only (although as you said you can specialise with certain client groups). Either way, specialist or not, respect their privacy. Simple.

I am in the United States. Psychiatrists in the United States are medical doctors who go through extensive training as a doctor and later decide on a specialty. It is because of their extensive medical training that they can write prescriptions for medications. Some physical problems cause mental problems. A good psychiatrist will look at the entire patient, mind and body and run tests (blood work, etc.) to see what could be the cause of the problem. It isn't always in the mind.

Well I'm no doctor, but I completely understand where you are coming from. I am a tattoo artist and most folks have no problem shedding their clothes to show me what they have, and can I fix it. Seriously? What on earth posseses people to just get nakid for a stranger, we have no connection and i don't want to see your goods, no thank you please..:)

People just like to bare themselves to others. They do it to police officers, nurses, doctors, anybody who will listen to them or show them interest. It gets to be a bit bothersome because it is very inappropriate behavior.

That bastard deserved it. If you hadn't said not to hurt him, I would have cleaned his clock. WTF, I take you out to dinner and some random idiot comes up to our table and starts taking off his clothes. What do you expect I would do? He deserved to be decked out. Crazy fool.

He might have deserved it but I'm happy that you didn't. It just would have made the situation worse.

I would say, "Well, you know what they say about free advice" and then walk away. People are going to be pissy about it because they know what they are doing is inappropriate. Years ago when I was freshly out of medical school, I had someone come up to me at a social engagement and want free medical advice. I told him that since he decided to discuss his medical needs in front of me at a party, that I would have no problem pulling out my bag of instruments and giving him an examination on the spot. (As if I carry a medical bag around with me at parties). I told him to unzip his pants and expose his rear end. At first, he chuckled and thought I was trying to come on to him but I informed him that he was he who approached me. I told him to go ahead and lower his drawers. He started to get in a huff and I told him if he wanted to make a public *** of himself that I would have no problem showing others his "illness." He walked away.

I have had similar experiences, even as a medical student! I usually tried to be diplomatic, and to direct the enquirers to their own doctors on the grounds that they would be more familliar with their histories, but found that even this was taken as rudeness on my part. The usual response was something like. "oh I was just hoping for some free advice, thats all". Perhaps in future I should demand that they sign a waiver before we continue?

Oh that would be annoying (having people bother you for a free consultation). Good on you for being a doctor though. I always maintain that we need more doctors, and hospitals too. Its a honourable profession, and I admire people such as yourself dedicating your life to help others. BTW, I didn't get into Med school athough I wanted to! But I'm happy working in multimedia now after many career changes, and I still maintain an interest in Medicine, Science, Research and Psychology.

Life is for exploring. I am glad that you found a career that you enjoy.

I'm with Redrubies on this one - absolutely baffled beyond words on the bizarre expectations that people have of professionals in a social setting. But nothing insightful beyond that!

I understand your situation. I was at a cocktail party with several friends (one of them is a plastic surgeon). A woman walked up in the middle of our conversation and told my friend that she wanted a boob job. She started feeling herself up and showing him her breasts and what she wanted him to do. He was shocked and nearly spat out his drink. He started to blush because he didn't expect someone to be so bold. He is used to people asking him what he thought of their nose but to demand an audience with a doctor in a social setting is inappropriate. He told her that he was all booked up. He didn't want a nutcase like that as a patient. Then the woman turned and asked me if I would do her surgery. I told her I don't practice that type of medicine. When she asked what type of medicine I practiced, I told her that I am not seeing new patients and I am here to enjoy the party. She walked away in a huff. Oh well.

I have had similar things happen at parties with friends who are doctors, and with my grandmother who is a doctor. I am always amazed at how no matter what the circumstances are, when some people find out that someone is a doctor they will start talking about their health and asking the doctor questions about it. I have had people repeatedly come up to my doctor friends and ask if they will prescribe drugs for them. Once we were at a BBQ and a man who is a car mechanic came up and started asking my grandmother all kinds of questions concerning a funny patch of skin on his thigh, and before she had a chance to say anything in response he pulled down his pants in front of all of us, and pointed to the scaly patch he had been talking about and asked her to take a closer look. She just stared at him and then once he finally finished talking she said "I'm not sure what that is, but lets go out front so you can crawl underneath my car and take a look at my transmission and tell me why you think it is making a funny clanking sound". He got the message. He pulled up his pants and told her he would call her office to make an appointment to have her take a closer look, and that she could do the same to have him check out her car.

Although in a different profession, I also frequently have people wanting free professional advice in a social setting. I usually start my response by saying that you get what you pay for. That usually does not go down well. People seem to believe that, if they can trap you in a restaurant, bar, or party, you owe them free advice.

I bet you will get many people here asking you questions as well. I hope not.

EP has some interesting members. I posted this story to share the experience and to let people know that even though I am a doctor, I am not their doctor. For the most part, people have respected that. I've only had a few that crossed the line. I promptly let them know that their questions will not be answered in a way that will please them.

I wish I had something insightful to say, but I can only shake my head.... the upside: you will never run out of stories to tell....

True. This wasn't the first time some stranger asked me for medical advice. This was just one of the more outrageous examples.

King and I were at a really nice restaurant that we were frequent diners. The M'd has always been jovial and sweet although in this instance not discrete. I think the man was intrigued because I was wearing something very colorful and I did look and feel wonderful that evening. I don't think the M'd thought he was doing anything by answering the man's question about me. He didn't know the man was an idiot and would come up to our table and start taking off his clothes. I just think the man had a little too much to drink.

Damn, people are just crazy. You do look striking. So I could easily see men and women taking their clothes in front of you. It is a curse you have for being blessed with beauty and smarts.

Thank you, LG. It is in the genes and you have it too.