Is your DOCTOR treating you as if you were like this?

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Your DOCTOR should be treating you like this !


Ageism is “a personal revulsion to and distaste for growing old, disease [and] disability.” In 1969, Dr. Robert Butler published a seminal article about this form of bigotry saying that it would parallel racism in the coming decades. It is becoming something to worry about. Medical schools prioritize training, teaching and treatment toward “medical” (younger) patients.

Older patients receive ‘less intensive,’ less appropriate care. Some receive vague diagnoses such as “acopia” (failure to cope). “Rather than receiving comprehensive assessments and appropriate investigations, older patients are often met with ageist therapeutic nihilism.”

If you sense your doctor is treating you as a ‘secondary patient,’ consider acting on the feeling:

  1. Ask the doctor why the particular medication or treatment is being prescribed? What are its side effects? Pros? Cons?
  2. Why did the doctor choose this treatment/prescription?
  3. Is there alternate medication which might be considered that has less intrusive or less invasive side effects?
  4. Is there a non-chemical treatment which could be considered?
  5. What is the financial impact? Is there government financial support? Is there a government paid viable alternative

Work with your doctor as a team, a partnership with the aim of giving you the best quality of life as possible and for as long as possible.

If you have misgivings about how your doctor is treating you as patient, consider changing doctors.


Your doctor should demonstrate that he ‘cares’ about you!

AGEISM is based on an article in the CMJA, April, 2013 by
Nathan Stall, grad med student


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