Seeing the PatientCreated by:
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.