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How should I deal with a patronizing doctor?


August 11th, 2021

Haha! Oh, boy!! This is a tough one! I am very direct and I have actually asked a physician if he realizes that his tone is very patronizing. He apologized and said it was unintended, however, he continued to be patronizing. Please recognize that you cannot change their behavior, only your response to it. We are supposed to be collegial, nursing is a profession too. We are not subordinate to physicians. Just be prepared. Know your patient (current lab values, treatments, vent settings, IV drips and rates, medications) and be ready with an answer to his question. He needs to see that you are a highly skilled professional. Earn his respect.

August 17th, 2021

I don’t and I suggest you don’t deal with them either. Sometimes they just like to test the waters but most of the time they rely on us so they learn to trust and respect us. After all we are their eyes and ears. They write the orders but the work don’t get done without us !!!

January 13th, 2022

Hmm - I have worked for so many and my number one advice is to know your shit! Very hard to patronize someone that has done the research, don’t the correct actions, used excellent critical thinking skills and thought ahead!

Some doctors are just assholes ha (I worked for 2 neurosurgeons, there are none worse) but you quickly learn that in almost all situations it isn’t personally against you and they will not remember they were jerks the next hour because…it wasn’t personal to you!

Many patronizing doctors also respond well to upfront no Bull shit nurses - they like nurses that can keep up with them, anticipate what they want and don’t add extra fluff and words because they are busy and too many nurses waste so much time.

If it gets really personal then report them - just understand that in most cases it won’t fix them. They might be better for a week but you just have to stand up for yourself directly to them.

September 30th, 2021

Report the individual to your nurse manager