How are you, Doctor?


When I was a kid growing up in the 50s/60s, I have vague recollections of seeing doctors from time to time. It always felt like the doctor was a highly respected person who knew everything and was someone to whom it was safe to divulge your most intimate secrets! I think for me, that perception continued throughout my time in the military and beyond.  I suspect as you mature in age, you become more relaxed about seeing a doctor and you begin to realise they are human beings just like you.  That said, the relationship is normally always a professional one, even today.  

Throughout your life, many people greet you in the street or on the phone often with the words “How are you?”.  You will probably say “fine” or “good thanks” and leave it at that.  Depending on how well you know the person, you may open up a bit more.  However, if you’re sat in front of a doctor in response to the same question, you may offer chapter and verse. Some things don’t change as I suspect most people still trust them and most people are comfortable talking about their health issues with a doctor more than others. Not a surprise given that we tend to trust doctors to fix our medical issues.

When I was younger, I thought doctors never got sick and they never had the normal issues most people do

Throughout most of my life, I have never thought too much about what happens when a doctor gets ill.  I always thought they just pop their head into the office of the nearest doctor, ask for an appointment, spill their guts, get a prescription and then go back to work.   I guess it’s probably more complex than that.

It seems doctors are just like us after all ….. 

Fast forward to today and the stellar rise of social media and instant information etc.  You now read about doctors’ issues all the time.  Doctors get cancer, doctors get other illnesses, and doctors even have mental health issues.  Doctors also get in trouble; they also make mistakes, and they sometimes get sued.  As I said above, no matter how they were perceived back in my childhood days, they are human beings just like us and always have been. 

Burnout is a work related hazard that is prevalent among those working in people oriented professions such as healthcare and is generally generally high among doctors globally.   

Doctors also commit suicide – that shocked me, particularly when I saw the statistics (google it, it’s frightening). There seems to be a lot more pressure on doctors today, I think people are generally more demanding in the fast-moving world we now live in.

Next time you visit your doctor, ask him/her how they are.  They probably won’t tell you much but at least you’ve given that person a message you care.  

Nurses are important too! - Click here to read


I am not a doctor or any form of medical professional, practitioner or counsellor. None of the information on my website, or linked to my website(s), or conveyed by me on any social media or presentation, should be interpreted as medical advice given or advised by me.  Neither should any post or comment made by a follower or member of my private group be assumed to be medical advice, even if that person is a healthcare professional as they are not members of the private group or followers of my sites in any official capacity.  Please also note that mention of a clinical service, trial/study or therapy does not constitute an endorsement of that service, trial/study or therapy by Ronny Allan, the information is provided for education and awareness purposes and/or related to Ronny Allan’s own patient experience. This element of the disclaimer includes any complementary medicine, non-prescription over the counter drugs and supplements such as vitamins and minerals.

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2 thoughts on “How are you, Doctor?

  • Marlysa Raye-Jacobus

    Thx for this valuable reminder to ask my doctors, nurses, etc. how THEY are too. It’s gotta be difficult to hear about the patients’ woes and illnesses constantly, especially when they themselves are suffering with an affliction, etc. I always try to be courteous and appreciative of my health care people. They are very important to me.
    Pls keep up with your writings, Ronny. I value your insights and knowledge.

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