WebMD BlogsUlcerative Colitis

A Good Relationship With My Doctor Makes Life With UC Easier

photo of doctor patient consultation
Brett Gaul - Blogs
By Brett GaulJune 22, 2021

Living with any chronic illness can be difficult, but it’s more difficult if you don’t have a good relationship with your doctor. Fortunately, I have a great relationship with my gastroenterologist.

He was recommended to me by my aunt, whose son began seeing him when he developed Crohn’s disease over a decade ago. Before I was even officially my gastroenterologist’s patient, he went out of his way to see me when I was hospitalized because I hadn’t yet found a medication to manage my ulcerative colitis. I was so grateful to see him that I asked if I could hug him. Although I later realized he’s not much of a hugger, I appreciate the fact that he let me hug him anyway.

I like my doctor because of his personable yet no-nonsense style. He tells it like it is. And after he’s done telling it like it is, he always asks me if I understand everything he’s just said and if I have any questions. If I need something explained or have questions, he provides additional information.

He knows me well enough to know that I often wear bow ties, and I know him well enough to know that he enjoys the music of Lady Gaga.

We even get along well enough that he’s not afraid to give me a bad time. Once, when I questioned whether I still needed to take a certain medication, he asked me if I had attended gastroenterology school since my last appointment. After I told him that I had not, he explained why he wanted me to continue taking that medication. I appreciated that he knew I could take some good-natured ribbing.

I also have good relationships with my gastroenterologist’s nurse and his administrative staff. The nurse is often my first point of contact with the office. She always promptly responds to my messages and answers my questions.

Over the years, she and a member of the administrative staff have also spent a considerable amount of time communicating with my insurance provider. On several occasions, they’ve helped me straighten out billing issues and reduce charges that were initially in the tens of thousands of dollars. I am so grateful for their help -- I call them my insurance warriors.

In short, I have a great team of caregivers looking after me. I feel like they truly care about my well-being and will do whatever they can to help me successfully manage my ulcerative colitis. I’m not just a patient to them; I’m a person.

If you’re looking for a doctor, try to find one who treats you the same way -- one who will make time for you, explain things clearly and thoroughly in a way you can understand, and patiently answer your questions. If you find a doctor like this, you’ve found a keeper. They don’t have to enjoy the music of Lady Gaga, but, in my experience, it’s a bonus if they do.


Photo Credit: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc via Getty Images

WebMD Blog
© 2021 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Blog Topics:
About the Author
Brett Gaul

Brett Gaul has lived with ulcerative colitis since 2016. A philosophy professor, Gaul enjoys sharing his passion for philosophy and helping students live more meaningful and successful lives. When he’s not having interesting dinner conversations with his history professor wife and three children, he likes reading, running, and rooting for Minnesota sports teams.

More from the Ulcerative Colitis Blog

View all posts on Ulcerative Colitis

Latest Blog Posts on WebMD

View all blog posts

Important: The opinions expressed in WebMD Blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Blogs are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD Blogs as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

Read More