THINGS I'VE LEARNED FROM MY PATIENTS
Thank you, @daniel for the excellent list request!
- •Sometimes not knowing is the worstThe patient: a woman w/ a history of 2 prior miscarriages presenting w/ early pregnancy and cramping. As a physician, I understand that tests take time to be processed by the lab and sometimes it's better to wait 1-2 weeks before repeating tests to prove a diagnosis. She told me it was the most stressful 7 days of her life.
- •Women can be unbelievably strongSome of my patients can labor all day and push for 3 hours with no epidural and never make a peep. I, on the other hand, would want an epidural as soon as I walk through the door ☺️ And either decision is OK!
- •Manage your expectationsI think this is applicable to life in general. Some patients are convinced that this one treatment that their friend had or this drug they read about will cure them forever. Nothing is ever so perfect. You can only hope whatever it is will make you feel better.
- •That ultrasound gel is cold!We spread a light green gel all over the belly during the fetal ultrasound. I don't always get to work in a place with fancy gel warmer machines, so now I just warn them, then apologize 😁 Life lesson: a gentle warning is usually appreciated.
- •Sometimes there's more to the storyAt my clinic, we routinely screen for history of domestic violence or abuse. Sometimes patients won't admit to it initially, but there are certain signs that alert me. Patience and silence make it easier for people to share with you.
- •If you make a mistake and acknowledge it with a sincere apology, you will usually be forgiven.No doctor wants to "mess up." We all took the a Hippocratic Oath and sacrificed a lot to get to this place where people willingly put their lives in our hands. Most patients understand that as much as we try to know everything and do everything, we are only human.