Monday, August 9, 2010
My Patients: I am So Lucky
I turn to walk out of the room when her voice calls me back. "How is your garden this year?" and after my answer, "Did you have a good vacation? I can't wait to hear about your time with your mother...but we will have plenty of time after the surgery."
I leave the room and smile, amazed again at the strength of my patients. At a moment when she could have been nervous beyond the pale, she was curious enough about me as a person. I knew that for her, being a person as well as a doctor was part of why she liked and trusted me.
Over the years, I have tried to ensure that I know something "personal" about every patient-perhaps something about their jobs, family, favorite books, or where they like to travel. It serves as a constant reminder that they are people as well as patients. By sharing little stories about myself, I hope they will feel a stronger bond, too.
I thought about this special lady all through her surgery and beyond. Healing is a gift, and it doesn't always come from doctors.