Friday, October 14, 2011

Family Medicine: Patience

Patient 1. Married to the pushy fellow who only comes in when forced to see the doctor to get his prescriptions.  That's right, he is just using the doctor, he doesn't want me to think, just write and don't talk (but we hope for an opening to be helpful and we're helping his wife).  Usually, if we stay committed to his well-being, we'll get to know each other a bit and we'll connect.  Patience.

Patient 2. Oops, she forgot her husband, supposed to be  two persons coming in today, but husband, barely able to function after cancer surgery one year ago opts not to come along.  What to do?  I thought we were responding well to his fatigue with disability recommendation and parking placards for disability parking.  I want to see him, examine him and recommend strategies to get the realignment with his life that he was desiring.  Patience.

Patient 3.  I open chart, see vitals and chief complaint:  HTN, Allergies, Cholesterol.  Abnormal EMG and NCV.  Does he have diabetes ?  He tells a huge story about a work situation which is being cared for by an occupational medicine physician.  OK. Can we clarify what your reason was for making this appointment?  We need mutual agreement on his goal for this visit.  OK, the purpose is his concern that his test result means that he's becoming a diabetic.  "When is your next health oriented regular office visit?", I ask.  I'm trying to clarify our focus and boundaries for this visit.  We'll get there.  Patience.

One patient at a time, we learn to have patience.  Patience for our patients.

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