Has anyone else encountered doctors that while undoubtedly knowlegeable about medicine, well, sucked at dealing with human beings? I remember before my mother's death we talked with an oncologist who acted rather callous. When her cancer took a turn for the worse we asked him what treatment options remained and he answered "realistically at this point her options are to spend a lot of money on expensive treatments that probably won't work or just die without having to go through all the hassle." I understood at the time what he said was probably true, but I'm not sure characterizing her treatment options as a 'hassle' with the whole family gathered around was necessarily the most sensitive choice of words.
I happen to like our primary care physician alot because he is an irreverrant guy with a puckish sense of humor. He tells me during my annual physical yesterday "congratulations, you're now officially overweight." He knows me well enough to know I'll take it as a semi-joke, but I'm sure if he said that to most patients they would be aghast with horror. yesterday we talked for a while about our families and when it was time for for the prostate exam he says "hmm let's see I've establish rapport with the patient and have probably earned his trust... oh yeah, now it's time to tell the patient what they have to look forward to next in the exam." He puts on the rubber gloves and says "assume the position" Not everyone would appreciate that either.
How about you, does your family doctor have a decent bedside manner? Have you ever encountered doctors who acted like there's some other place they'd rather be? How does your primary care physician handle medical advice - does he or she hector you about your lifestyle or ever try scare tactics? (insert youtube link for the song "Cigarettes, Whiskey, and Wild Wild Women")
Personally, a doctor's gender has never really been an issue with me, but Mrs. Maister for example frequently gets exasperated with her male ob/gyn whenever he speaks to the issue of cramping or other female problems ("what the hell does HE know about how cramping feels?....."). Do you care about your doctor's gender if s/he is addressing/treating an opposite gendered medical issue? I understand this is a HUGE issue in many Muslim countries and elaborate screens have to be set up shielding the doctor's views of various anatomical regions.