10 Ways to Be a Horrible Doctor

First of all, let me say that this post is written with a whole lot of snark. If you don’t have a sense of humor, this post is not for you. Please do not accuse me of recommending these things or of slandering doctors. This is based loosely on actual things that have happened to me or people I know and was compiled for your amusement.

Hopefully it makes you laugh –and roll your eyes.

10 ways to be a horrible doctor:

  1. Instruct your receptionist to lie to your clients when they arrive and tell them that you’re on schedule when you’re actually running 3 hours late. Make sure you threaten you receptionist with losing her job if she tells your patients how long they’re actually going to have to wait. Then refuse to reschedule appointments without an expensive cancellation fee when people can’t wait three hours and have to leave. Make sure that you have the most uncomfortable chairs in your waiting room –especially if people have to wait three hours. Also, it is important to remove the magazines and toys to prevent the spread of germs if you are running that far behind. Everyone loves 3 hours in a waiting room with small children and nothing to do.

  2. Decided that you’re an expert in everything. Refuse to allow your patients to follow the instructions of their specialist no matter how rare or complicated their diseases or conditions. Make sure you assume there’s nothing you don’t already know. You don’t need to look anything up because you’re awesome. Openly criticize specialists –especially if there are only three in the whole world with their specialty. There’s no way that they could know more about their specialty than you do. Refuse to cooperate or support anything that the specialist wants to do.

  3. Make sure that you jump to conclusions about the kind of person someone is and how sick they are by how they’re dressed.  For instance, if a woman has makeup on there’s no way she could be very sick. If someone shows up in pajamas, it’s not because they have the stomach flu; it’s because they’re lowlifes who don’t care what they look like. The quicker you jump to conclusions, the better. Look down your nose at people with mental illnesses or physical impairments. You are way better than they are. They probably didn’t even go to college. Also judge on disposition. Grumpy people don’t deserve your help, and happy people obviously don’t need it. Make people feel like it is their fault that they are sick, overweight, have mental illnesses, or have chronic illnesses.

  4. Refuse to treat really sick people. It’s annoying, time consuming, and complicated. Prefer to treat minor viruses and hangnails. Turn away people who really need help.  It’s not worth the bother. Some people are just too sick to help. If you’ve been seeing someone for a while and find that they’re sicker than you first realized, just refuse to see them anymore. They’ll be fine. Or not. It’s not really your concern. Don’t tell them why or give any recommendations, just tell your receptionist to call and inform them they are no longer welcome at the clinic.

  5. Anytime a new patient comes to you with a list of medications they’ve been taking successfully,  make sure you change all the medications –especially if those medications are working well for the patient. It’s best if you keep switching to medications that don’t work so that they’ll keep coming back to you. New medications means more follow up appointments. It doesn’t matter if the original medications were working. Change them anyway. Shake things up. Why not? What’s a few more side effects? When in doubt give pain killers.

  6. Don’t listen to your patients.  There’s nothing they can tell you that you don’t already know. Assume that you know what they mean and ignore their concerns. This will definitely make sure that they have the best treatment possible.  They have a brilliant doctor helping them.  They don’t need to you actually listen to their words and explanations. Just say “Uh-huh” a lot while not paying attention. They won’t notice.

  7. Act condescending.  Patients need to be reminded that you’re brilliant. You have years more education than they have,  and you’re just all around better. So make sure you act like it. They are blessed that someone as wonderful as you has stooped to try to help lowly them.  Remember that you are God’s gift to medicine. Use phrases like “It’s all in your head,” “Did you read that on the internet?” and “Hypochondriac” if someone suggests that they might have a condition that you didn’t suggest. You can bring it up at the next visit if you think it is a valid concern, but it must always be your idea.

  8. Refuse to give referrals.  You know that there’s nothing you can’t handle by yourself. If you don’t feel like it’s an issue, there’s absolutely no reason to allow a referral –even if the patient is adamant that they believe it’s an issue worth a specialist’s time. Your patients have no medical training. Just because they live in their body does not mean they have any idea how they really feel. They’re only as sick as you decide they are. Ignore their pleas and any facts they present to try to persuade you they are right. Obviously, they are not.

  9. Never, ever trust mother’s intuition. Women are emotional, fickle, irrational, and over-reactive creatures. Treat them as such. Just because they grew that child inside them, nursed them at their breast, and spend every waking hour with them does not mean that they know their child better than you. It’s not like a child’s life could be in danger if you don’t pay attention. So be confident in yourself and ignore the caretaker’s ridiculous claims even if she comes in or calls repeatedly. Make sure to look amused that she thinks she knows what is going on. It is really cute, isn’t it? Remind her not to play doctor. If you have to. mention Munchausen’s By Proxy to get her to be quiet. It works every time.

  10.  Make sure you have the most disagreeable staff available.  Never hire cheerful people, only grumpy people. Make sure your nurses remind people that they could die anytime so they should have an end of life plan.  Life is hard so don’t sugar coat it. Kindness is for wimps. Always make snide comments about people’s weight or health and blame their conditions on them. Train your staff to treat people’s concerns with disregard, refuse to see people in dire need, make the checking in and out process as complicated,  unpleasant, and difficult as possible. Shame people who make mistakes or are late, and make sure you do it when there is a long line at reception so everyone else knows that they are idiots. They’re blessed to have the opportunity to see you and be in your clinic. It’s not like you work for them.

There you have it. Ten wonderfully useful tips on being the a horrible doctor. Useful for every clinic.


Sarah Forbes


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