Seeing the Patient

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13 Sep 2016 - General


Looking at the picture of this topic, what do you see? Most, if not all, will probably say that the picture shows a stroke patient. If you answered an old gentleman who is working hard to regain his function, then you don't need to read beyond this point. Congratulations! You saw the patient and not just the illness. I have just attended a convention last Friday and one speaker caught our attention because she opened her presentation with the following statement " The problem with everyone in this room is that we see the illness. Then you think about his/her limitations and how he/she can improve with function. No one sees the patient standing or sitting right in front of you. You do not bother to attend to his/her problems or needs. You focus on the medical management and treat the disease but the person does not get treated holistically." That was chilling to hear. The speaker was right because we all have our biases. When we see a patient in wheelchair, the first thing that pops into mind is if the patient's chances of walking or independent ambulation. We play into our own bias and ignore questions that we consider trivial. We turn a blind eye to the person in front. How does the patient cope with everyday activities? How does he/she fulfill her urges? How does he/she feel with her current situation? Does anyone support him/her consistently throughout the day? Once we get out of this mindset to really see the patient as a whole, total healing takes place and the patient reaps all the benefits. 

Good doctors treat the disease. Great doctors treat the patient.

When I saw the picture, I immediately remembered my dad. He hates the wheelchair, he feels put down. He even hates the quad cane and would rather walk with the normal cane. On good days, he would be able to walk on his own, and really when I think about it, given better circumstances he would have fought well through his illnesses, but we got "there" too late to even stand a chance. "Good doctors treat the disease. Great doctors treat the patient. I just recently wrote a blog abou...
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Totally agree with your definition of health Dr. Mark Edmon Tan. As WHO defines it, "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." You may or may not agree that mostly Doctors missed to look at the other side of a person. I understand that doctors get caught up with the job to treat the disease/illness and fail to see beyond the...
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Priscilla Mae Gobuyan I am sure that your patients feel genuine concern and appreciate your efforts. You are right in helping facilitate healing by treating patients with utmost care. Sometimes, we get too caught up with our work that we fail to see what is essential. Understanding the impact of disease in a patient is equally important as arriving at a diagnosis and prescribing appropriate medications. The burd...
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Upon seeing the picture makes me remember and miss my grandparents. I saw the picture as it is, a daughter helping his father to regain his function, walk safely as he could. Well sometimes it's unavoidable to be bias with our judgement to people but in the medical field, it is best to see patients in a positive way than just barely seeing them with their condition. Just like in a piece of white bond paper, people will just notice the dot and just ignore the background which in fact has a la...
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