In the interests of not being an idiot, you should probably be nice to your doctors. But if common courtesy isn’t a good enough reason, a recent paper suggests you’ll get worse medical treatment if you’re worse.
The experiment put 24 different medical teams (1 doctor, two nurses) in charge of a newborn baby with necrotizing entrocolitis (NEC), an inflammation in the intestines which can lead to tissue death.
Rudeness came in the form of a welcome message from another physician: in half of cases, he said that he wasn’t impressed with the quality of care provided by medics from whichever country the team was from; for the others, no such assaults on their professional dignity.
The teams’ performance was analysed by a board of independent experts, with slightly scary results: the teams that were insulted prior to the test performed noticeably worse, taking longer to diagnose and treat, with a worse overall outcome.
Of course, there’s a lot of difference between a medical study and an A&E centre on Friday night, but the conclusion is probably the same either way: don’t be a wanker in the hospital. Especially if your newborn baby is dying at the time. [Pediatrics via The Conversation]