The funny thing about doctors is that you WANT them to be arrogant pricks. If someone is splitting my chest open, I want him to be the cockiest son of a bitch that has ever walked the face of the Earth. I don’t want him to be PLEASANT. I don’t want him to be self-effacing or emo. “We’re gonna open up your left ventricle. And even though I went to medical school in Alabama, I’m pretty sure I know what I’m doing!” I want my doctor to be humorless, aggressive, and I want him to recite the Baldwin speech from Malice to people at least six times a day, with no irony.
I would like all my doctors to be the absolute tits, and I will take mean over tentative any day of the week so long as when they are done with me I am no longer sick or in need of their services. You’re good at your job, you can get away with no bedside manner at all.
The first time I ever saw a gynecologist, he was this jolly son of a bitch. He wore a Hawaiian shirt and had a furry pelt of chest hair and he wanted to chitter-chat. All I wanted was to be done with whatever and out of that goddamn room. I did not want to be put at ease or for him to get to know me, and besides, within ten seconds of being in a room with me almost everybody figures out that the worst way to put me at ease is to try to do it on purpose.
We have a limited amount of time on the planet and it is my life’s goal to spend as little of it as possible in a doctor’s office. State your business, do the breast exam, see you next year.
(Nurses, now? Nurses I like all warm and fuzzy. I am the worst patient, like even my pharmacy this week when I called them said, “Oh, um, you.”)
That gynecologist, I never saw again, and in fact his creepy joviality was so horrifying I didn’t go see another one for years. When I finally did find one, having requested the most humorless bastard on the face of the planet from among my friends, I adored him. He’s not rude, but he’s businesslike, answers my questions, and I am no more skeeved out by him than I am by the guy who changes the oil in my car. They’re much alike: courteous and competent, and not interested in wasting anybody’s time.
Do you want to be petted and cared for when you’re sick, or would you rather they just shoot you up with antibiotics and be on your way?