8 Things Doctors Can Learn From Teachers

It’s definitely not a doctor’s office or exam room. Still, doctors can learn a lot from teachers.

I first became ill ten years ago. 

In that time I’ve seen a lot of doctors.

I don’t look forward to these appointments. Especially when I’m seeing someone new.

I dread having to explain and describe my symptoms and my pain to yet another doctor. I’m tired of re-hashing my story, my medical history. I’m tired of trying to explain to someone what my days and nights are like. 

And after all that, I’m tired of the non-answers, the uncertainty and confusion that my particular medical condition seems to present.

It’s been my experience that doctors could learn a thing or two (or eight) from teachers. A parent/teacher conference does, in fact, share similarities to a doctor’s appointment. 

Click here to read my personal essay “8 Things Doctors Can Learn From Teachers.” 

2 thoughts on “8 Things Doctors Can Learn From Teachers

  1. I respectfully disagree with some of your post and here are my reasons.

    1) Over the years we have had and continue to have numerous doctor appointments and while it can be frustrating when a doctor runs late, in our experience, the doctor is late because they are taking as much time as necessary with each of their patients. While at some parent/teacher conferences the allotted time is simply not enough and a follow up meeting is necessary, the doctors we have and know stay with their patients and answer all questions that he/she may have. I find this to be very reassuring and I definitely appreciate it and therefore completely understand why they may be running late for my scheduled appointment time.

    2 & 3) The doctors that we have and know don’t always make eye contact if they are making notations about what we are discussing, which to me is totally understandable. However, they do come into the appointment fully knowledge of our situation and certainly make eye contact when not taking notes. It is clear that they have reviewed our records prior to the appointment to help serve as a refresher. We are also fortunate that each of our doctors knows us and we have a relationship with them.

    In regards to the remaining reasons you have listed in your post, we have/know doctors who do watch their language, do ask about the whole picture, do use “regular” language, do follow-up when promised, and do stress partnership. It is unfortunate that you seem to have not experienced this with your doctors and you may want to consider finding a doctor(s) that give you the respect and time that you deserve.


    • Julie, you and your family are very fortunate. I’m glad your experiences do not match many (not all) of my experiences and those of many others I know who live with chronic illnesses.


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