I am currently a pre med student and I've spent some time shadowing and doing rounds as a volunteer in hospitals and all that. I think my biggest problem is going to be my patients. One of my shortcomings is that I am very impatient, especially with ignorant stupidity. How am I supposed to handle a situation like this? when I see patients like this I want to laugh and shake them until they realize how ridiculous they are being and actually doing themselves harm while I am just trying desperately to help them. ... Also from your other post- how are you supposed to help and advise someone who is hellbent on still taking cocaine if he had just suffered from a heart attack? I'm afraid that everything I think of doing/saying to these "wonderful" people will one day get me fired lol...
You have to remember that, in most cases, these are people who are scared, who may not be terribly well-educated, and who are trying their best. The lack of knowledge can be frustrating, absolutely. The difficulty of getting someone to understand that you're trying your best too, and that modern medicine may have ways to help them, and that they're only hurting themselves-- absolutely maddening. Balanced with the fact that no one has endless time or endless patience-- of course you want to scream. You do what you can do. In the end, it's up to them*. You explain things as best as you can, you tell them what you want to try and do for them, or what you think they need to do for themselves, at whatever level of detail you can get them to understand, you document everything, and you move on. You can get family members involved, explain things to them and let them take on some of the burden of convincing their father not to use cocaine if he doesn't want to kill himself. And then when the patient comes back three months later, in worse shape, you do your best again.
*Unless the attending decides it isn't, and you're going to biopsy that thing anyway, without consent. Yay!
Who's going to believe a crazy patient who says you shook them? Come on, you're a doctor, so think like one. Doctors are credible witnesses. Crazy patients who don't want to give you a urine sample because they're afraid they'll run out of urine are not credible witnesses. Do whatever you want, just don't do it in a room with a camera.