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Why it is Important to be a Human First and Then a Doctor...

Why it is Important to be a Human First and Then a Doctor…

The doctor was about to visit a patient who had just entered in the hospital..

When he came in the room, saw his patient sitting with his legs stretched in front of him. He looked sad and concerned, so he was expecting to be told to come back later.

To his surprise, the patient welcomed him with a smile and told him to grab a chair.

The doctor led the conversation by introducing himself, followed by asking the most typical question, “What’s brought you in today?”

That was when he took a glance, a deep breath, and replied, “Do you know of a condition called multiple myeloma?”

The doctor knew what multiple myeloma was, of course. So, when he started giving him the definition of multiple myeloma, the patient stopped him by explaining himself what this condition was.

At that moment, they exchanged roles, he became the teacher/knowledge source, and doctor became the student.Typically, patients expect doctors to be the knowledge source and provide the information; this wasn’t the case here.

He taught him what multiple myeloma was, and the best part was he enjoyed teaching him about it. He even pulled his medication bag to show him the medication he was taking.

He said he has had and will continue to have multiple transfusions and that when he woke up one day, his partner had noticed he looked “grey.”

Immediately, the doctor knew what he was saying: hemochromatosis, which tied in with the regular transfusions he had been prescribed.

The doctor asked if he knew about hemochromatosis, and he knew all about it. He was amazed with how much information about his condition the patient knew!

He said, “The only way for me to be treated is by having continuous blood transfusions. I can’t stop it. And I know there is no way for the body to get rid of iron.”

He even knew the name of the type of proteins found in his urinalysis (Bence Jones Protein). So, the doctor was shocked by how effortlessly and efficiently he explained everything to him.

He was not only very informed, but also proud of it.

The doctor was so thankful that the patient felt very comfortable talking to him for this long. He wanted to make sure that he could create a safe and calming environment again for the next patient, as well.

Learning can happen anywhere in the hospital. It would be best if you were ready and motivated. There are so many opportunities to learn, and patients want to teach you.

When a patient tells you about their condition – believe them! Especially if it is a patient who has lived with a condition for many years. Indeed, they become professionals about their health and what they require.

Physicians are taught and encouraged to use a patient-centered approach during interviews with patients. 

Patients always appreciate their doctor and think highly of him. They also can help the physician make easier the process of diagnose.

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It’s well documented in the research, that there are psychosocial factors that could affect the doctor-patient relationship.

Being aware of the factors and making sure the power dynamics are balanced, can help both the patient and the doctor.

There is already tremendous pressure placed on patients when they visit the doctor, which is a difficult journey for many. So, it seems critical to be a human first and then a doctor…

Medical Manage

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