THIS IS WHAT I BELIEVE………..
During my early training as a physician in Mexico, It was always emphasized by our mentors, teachers and instructors the importance of the human contact that must exist between a patient and his doctor. That it is indispensable to arrive at the correct diagnosis by the meticulous history taken, followed that by the physical examination. Those two tasks were truly indispensable for the proper care of the patients that entrusted us with their most precious treasure, their health.
During that prolonged conversation while taking the history, we were expected to learn not only the symptoms of the patients but everything related to them including of course their family, habits, food, recreation activities, employment et cetera. Compassion was a natural consequence.
The guidance of our teachers for us to learn the heart sounds and their meaning, it was with solemnity that they guide us to listen, to feel, to touch to see and how to use our wonderful senses to read and interpret correctly the language of the sick body.
The use of the scarce instruments and medical equipment available, was only to confirm the diagnosis that we were expected to have made after our careful history and physical examination.
My arrival in the United States to further my medical experience was as exciting as the arrival of Santa in Christmas. The equipment was and is simply put, spectacular.
Today, I am an interventional cardiologist and have access to all the wonderful gadgetry available and daily I remain as excited about our wonderful equipment that has allowed us to make literally miracles for the infirm and the awareness that it is possible to serve the patients efficiently, is satisfying.
However, I have remained faithful to the teaching of my mentors; it still takes me a long but necessary time to complete a careful history and a physical exam. I still make the effort to request and use only the indispensable test to confirm my diagnosis.
Through such a methodic system, seems almost obvious to see what are the specific needs of the patients. I sense clearly that I have been entrusted with Mrs. Jones heart and it is clear to me that Mrs. Jones is a woman, a wife, a mother and a grandmother with friends at church and at work. It is clear to me that Mrs. Jones is not a heart, but an entire individual and that she must be treated and respected as such.
Forces that are beyond my grasp, have changed the practice of medicine in America, the need to do all sort of tests has become overwhelming to all, the patient, the doctor, the hospitals the available federal medical programs, the insurance companies, et cetera.
But the ring of needed compassion has been nicely introduced in my heart. For 35 years, I have been practicing 21st century Interventional cardiology in a semirural area of Texas and I believe that when we balance a complete knowledge of the patient and his needs with today’s wonderful technology we can put ourselves at the service of a community who so badly needs it.
Who knows? It actually may increase the satisfaction of the patient and their families as well as a potential reduction in the cost of health in our country.
This is what I believe.
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