PMD: Why You Should NOT Treat Patients Like Family

Welcome to this week's Future Proof post on Physician's Money Digest (PMD).  I want to veer off the track of talking about money today and share a story from my time as a medical student.  If anyone ever told you that you should treat your patients "like your own family," this post is for you.  As usual, read the full post at PMD.  An excerpt is provided below.

One of the most memorable moments I remember from medical school was when one of my family medicine attendings told me "If you treat your patients like family, you'll do alright."  Since then, I've gone through clinical clerkships, survived internship and now on my way to becoming an interventional radiologist.  As I reflect on all the years in between, I realize I do indeed treat my patients like family - although not in the way you would imagine...
Meet My family:
I have a decent sized family, not huge by American standards, but full of different characters.  Let me share a few of my family members with you.
The overly-involved mom - my mother was the prototypical tiger mom which means not only does she have very high standards for me, she also tend to get a little too interested in how I live my life.  I love her dearly but I rarely ask for her opinion on anything of substance for the fear that she'll just take over.  For example, when I excitedly told her I scored in the 96th percentile on my MCAT exam, her response was "why were there 4% of the people who scored higher?" And she immediately launched into attack mode trying to plan out daily study plans for when I retake the exam.   
Patient correlate - know any patients who try to tell you how to do your job down to every last detail?
The contrarian dad - my stepfather is a good man, but he loves to play devil's advocate.  Often it feels like he prefers to argue because he enjoys confrontation rather than actually care about the topic of discussion.  Case in point, I once repeated back to him his exact words: "so what you're telling me is this [insert quote here]..." and he immediately began to argue against himself!
Patient correlate - know any patients who try to point out why nothing you suggest would work but can't seem to offer any coherent suggestions of their own?

Read the full post at PMD, then come back here to share your thoughts and comments.

Future Proof, MD

Dr. Bo Liu is an aspiring radiologist-in-training and the founder and editor of the White Coat Money Blog.  He has an interest in interventional radiology and helping his medical colleagues get ahead in this mad world of medicine and money.  When he's not crushing the list at the PACS station or typing up your next favorite blog post, you can usually find him at the local badminton club, movie theater or the most recently opened restaurant.