So, today I learned what I believe to be a very valuable lesson that I will take with me as I finally become a practicing physician. My professor stressed the importance of spending just 5 minutes getting to know our patients. His mother, who was in her 70’s, suffered from heart problems. When she went to see her cardiologist every once in a while, all he would do is inspect her heart and send her away until the next appointment. At one point, she started to get pain in her armpit region. The pain was progressive so every day it got worse. My professor then decided to switch his mother’s doctor to a close friend of his and the new doctor was able to examine her thoroughly. He discovered that she had breast carcinoma. A breast carcinoma is a malignant cancer. A malignant cancer is one that has already started to spread. It was then too late for my professor’s mother.
The moral of my professor’s story is that no matter what specialty we find ourselves in, we must take just 5 minutes to thoroughly examine the patient from head to toe. This will help us in a few ways. It will give us better insight on the patient so that we can better treat the patient and it will help us detect a problem earlier so that we may begin to help our patient heal faster. So, it helps the doctor and the patient.
My professor ended his story with “we all have mothers.” And this really struck home for me because felt his pain in a way. My mother is diabetic and having learned about the disease (and still learning), I would want the absolute best care for her. Then I remember, all of my female patients will be either someone’s sibling, someone’s mother, or someone’s daughter. Because of this, I will strive to give all of my patients the best possible care I can possibly give!