10 Things Doctors Hate About Patients

Doctor with patient

Not everyone can be a doctor, but that doesn’t stop most people from thinking they know far more about what it takes to treat a patient than the actual doctors who do it for a living. As a result, patients can often get on their doctors’ nerves with certain behaviours and habits without even realizing it. Here are 10 annoying things patients do that doctors hate:

1. “But the internet says…” kind of patients

About 90% of the time, patients who go into a doctor’s office will arrive with some sort of fact or detail that they claim “proves” that they’re right about something, and it’s often not correct. A common example of this is when patients state that such-and-such a diet (usually some kind of “miracle” solution) has been proven to work by reputable scientific studies when in reality the studies have shown nothing of the sort.

2. “The pharmacist said…” patients

It’s not uncommon for a doctor to prescribe certain medication and for the patient to come back with questions about it, but there are some who feel that the pharmacist they talked to on their way out is some kind of all-knowing oracle. These people will go to the pharmacist with various questions about their medication, and the pharmacist will either answer them or tell the patient that they should ask their doctor about it.

Either way, these patients seem to think that just because a pharmacist works at a drug store, they’re automatically an expert on every medication in existence and able to offer free medical advice.

3. “I can’t afford it” patient

There are two schools of thought on this issue. The first is that doctors shouldn’t even bother prescribing medications to patients if they know the patient can’t afford it, since no one should be stealing drugs or getting prescriptions just to sell them later for a profit. The other school of thought, however, is that it’s unfair of a doctor to simply not give a patient the medication he or she needs just because they can’t pay for it.

4. The “Why this medicine and not the other?” patients

There are some conditions where a doctor can offer two treatments, and the patient will simply reject both of them in favour of the one he or she saw on TV. This is especially common in areas where there aren’t many options for healthcare, such as remote rural areas or places with little to no public transportation that keep people from being able to get to big hospitals.

5. The “I don’t want this kind of medicine, I want an antibiotic” patient

Antibiotics are some of the most commonly prescribed medications on the planet, but there are still people who think that they’re for minor conditions like a cough or sore throat when in reality they should only be used for life-threatening infections like bacterial meningitis or blood poisoning.

6. Secretive patients

There are some patients who will go on and on about their medical history, but when it comes to actually explaining why they’re in the doctor’s office, these patients clam up. It can be great for a doctor if a patient is willing to tell them everything that has happened or any other symptoms leading to this visit since it gives them more information to work with when making a diagnosis.

7. Demeaning other doctors

Patients who have had a bad experience with one doctor usually take out their anger by telling other doctors what happened, which can taint that doctor’s impression of an entire medical field. This is especially annoying if the patient goes into detail about how bad things are or keeps bringing up the incident long after the fact.

8. The demanding patients

There are some patients who expect to be seen no matter how long they have to wait. They might start yelling or making a scene, or they might even go into the office and demand that their doctor see them again later in the day after all of the other appointments for the day have been filled up.

9. The “I already know what’s wrong” patients

One of the most irritating aspects about being a doctor is when a patient comes in with some kind of life-threatening illness right at the tail end of its incubation period, and it turns out that they already knew what was wrong. Even worse are the ones who ask for blood tests or other medical procedures to confirm what they already know.

10. The “I’m here for a second opinion” patients

If someone just spent thousands of dollars on some kind of medical bill, they’re probably not going to be happy about shelling out more money for a second opinion. Most doctors will simply suggest that the patient go home and think it over before rescheduling another appointment since there’s no guarantee that they’ll be able to see this doctor again or that the doctor will take them back.



Doctors have a difficult job, and it’s no secret that their patience is often put to the test when listening to patients drone on about why they don’t want this medicine or that one. It’s important for doctors and patients alike to remember that in order for people to get better, everyone has to work together and communicate their wishes and desires.

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