Hi! I am sorry to hear of all the health struggles you have had, and can tell that you are hurt that your Dr. didn't back you up in your thought to apply for disability. It can be tough to feel others are judging you without ever having walked in your shoes, no doubt. No one knows better than you how you feel everyday, and how painful it is for you to perform certain tasks. The job you were trained for is very physical, and you feel that you could no longer perform those duties safely for either yourself or your patients. This is very understandable.
Re: your Dr's. position, he has a point that you can look for work that is less physical, as you are not completely disabled as say, someone with a more debilitating condition... someone who cannot physically or mentally function in a fashion to be able to meet the basic requirements of work. However, even those with serious conditions can at times find work that is both meaningful to them and of service to others. Of course, our current economy is difficult and jobs aren't easy to find, but it isn't impossible, I suppose.
There are people who take advantage of the system all over, and it is quite possible that your Dr. doesn't want to participate in ever being accused of saying someone is completely disabled when he feels that they aren't. It is somewhat understandable that he would want to protect his license in this way. Although he stated his opinion in a way that felt rude to you, you have the absolute right to see another Dr. for another opinion, and you may just want to do this to put your mind at ease. I wish you the very best, XXXXX XXXXX you for using the site!