Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Doctor of People

All doctors have other titles: A pediatrician, an ophthalmologist, a psychiatrist, a surgeon, a podiatrist. Each title means something else - something that describes the type of doctor they are, the function they serve, the methods they use.

But underneath each doctor is (hopefully) someone who is, above all else, serving their patient. While obviously there needs to be a slight disconnect for the doctor to perform his or her job properly, a doctor's responsibility is much like the responsibility of a professional in any position - to service the client as best as possible. And in a doctor's case, that means showing the patient they care... and the best way to do that is to actually care.

On that note, read this touching post by Moshe: Mr. Roberts - My First Patient.
I smile at him.

“Good morning, son” he says. I cannot believe this is happening. I am staring at my first patient. Of course I won’t help cure him or prescribe his medication, but he doesn’t know that. In his eyes, I am a young man in a white coat, which must mean that I can help him.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Roberts,” I respond excitedly and with a higher pitch in my voice than I would have liked. Calm down, I tell myself, calm down. “My name is Moshe and I am a first year medical student. I am going to ask you some questions about your pain and medical history.”

There it is. I opened properly. I stated my name and clearly explained my status and purpose. Suddenly, I become more comfortable.

“So tell me, what brings you to the hospital today?”

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