Psychologists will tell you that when someone who acts arrogant or superior, does so because he lacks self-confidence. Instead of truly feeling superior, he instead, truly feels inferior. So he’ll use intimidation, or act conceited to cover up that lack of self-esteem. In the schoolyard, this doctor was a bully. In a medical setting, that bully’s intimidation takes the form of arrogance.
This doctor has spent a lifetime with his personality and you won’t be able to change it. Therefore, your choices are to either learn to work around it or to find another doctor.
First, understand that not only would this individual deny he is egotistical, he would also deny that he is a bully or has an inferiority complex. In truth, he has developed that personality because it serves his purposes; people are so intimidated that they don’t try to get to know him any better. He doesn’t want to be pleasant, friendly or kind because then people would discover just how inferior he is.
Knowing he doesn’t want to be friendly, don’t try to make him your friend. Your goal will simply be to take those intimidating edges out of the relationship so you can get the help you need.
Recognize that his difficult personality is not a true reflection of his abilities as a doctor. He may, or may not, be a good practitioner, able to meet your medical needs. He may come across as the best surgeon/cardiologist/or any other “gist” there is, and maybe he is. But maybe he is not. You’ll need to work to discover whether he can truly help you, or whether his arrogance is covering up weaknesses in his abilities.
Ironically, it may be that this doctor’s inferiority complex actually works in your favor. If you have a difficult illness or puzzling symptoms, and he can help you or solve your diagnosis mystery, that “proves” his superiority. His success as your doctor helps him get beyond his feelings of inferiority.
Remember, though, that communication between the two of you is critical, so be sure that his ego doesn’t inhibit your ability to communicate about the important aspects of your illness or condition.