Every so often I read posts or hear stories about people going to doctors that they loathe. It seems many distrust or fear our medical system, particularly allopathic doctors (MDs vs DOs, chiropractors, naturopaths, etc). I read about about endless tests and no answers. About frustration and feeling unheard. About being sent to many different specialists. About the high cost of insurance premiums and co-pays.
In truth, these stories terrify me because I’m afraid one day I’ll be “that doctor.”
I’m afraid that people will think I didn’t listen to them. That I brushed off their problems and only filtered what I wanted to hear so I could give them “x” medication and send them on their way. That I made them feel helpless or frustrated. That I didn’t take good care of them.
Practicing medicine is just that, a practice. It is both art and science, a tenuous balance between evidence based medicine and intuition through experience and maybe a dash of innovation thrown in here or there.
It seems much of the training to become a practicing physician is callousing. But, I hope it doesn’t callous me. I hope I remember that one of my main motivations in becoming a doctor is being a good listener and helper, just like I was told to be in kindergarten. To use my knowledge and resources to help figure out problems.
I realize that my perception of medicine at the moment is a bit “white knight”-ish. There will be patients that won’t like me for whatever reason, that will be frustrated with me, that might switch to another doctor. But, my idealistic part of me hopes that doesn’t come true, at least not often.
I guess I’m just afraid that the long hours and arduous training will make me a less kind person. But, only time will tell. I hope not. I sometimes remind myself to “be the sunshine.” Its very silly, but it reminds me to keep my intrinsic happy nature (most of the time) from being subdued.
TELL ME: WHAT QUALITIES DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A DOCTOR? WHY HAVE YOU LIKED SOME DOCTORS AND WHY HAVE YOU NOT LIKED OTHERS? WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO TELL YOUNG DOCTORS IN TRAINING?
Until next time…