"A wise man should regard health as the greatest of blessings. To physicians I say: cure sometimes, soothe often, comfort always, and make a habit of two things: do good, or if you can't, at least don't." hurt you" (1) . These are the words written by Hippocrates more than 2,300 years ago and that doctors, in our incessant search for knowledge and always looking for better diagnosis and treatment strategies, overlook .
In specialties such as radiology, where there is not always direct contact with the patient, the doctor-patient relationship can be made even more difficult.
I received a thank you email via email, the first of its kind after twenty-five years of graduating from medical school. Initially I was surprised, after reviewing it I felt joy and after thinking about it for a while a bit of nostalgia.
Good afternoon, Dr. Morales.
My name is Ma. Inés and approximately 20 years ago you gave me a consultation where you generously dedicated more than half an hour to study the images of an MRI that I had done in a place other than where you worked at that time. At that time I required a second opinion and I contacted you, you did me the favor of assisting me, you took the time to listen to me and did not allow me to cancel the consultation, you told me that in exchange I would buy some sweets for the reception girls, which which I actually did.
What I want to highlight about that meeting was his generosity, his professionalism and his ability to listen to a person who was going through a difficulty.
You that day, with that altruistic gesture, impacted my life. So much so that I kept his card and every time I see it I remember him with much gratitude. I had already searched for him before, but now, with the help of the internet, I was able to locate him to thank him and tell him that he is in my prayers.
Are you the owner of the card?
I hope so! Please confirm me.
Receive a hug and my feelings of admiration, gratitude and appreciation.
Atte. Ma. Ines
I only managed to answer the email with a simple thank you .
As doctors we establish a care routine and try to do the best. We study a long career, then a specialty and we try to constantly update our knowledge through courses, conferences and reading scientific articles. However, few remind us of the importance of human relationships. The patient does not always come to us to cure a physical illness, many times he is looking for someone who listens carefully and, although we do not always have the solution, we can be a voice of encouragement.
Our understanding attitude towards our patients is important, but it is equally relevant to feel that there is correspondence. It has been shown that the explicit gratitude of patients to their treating groups improves therapeutic efficacy (2) , apparently due to a better exchange of information on the processes of each of the parties. The opposite also applies, with the not insignificant 12% increase in adverse events by work teams (3) .
Thus I emphasize the importance that as doctors we should comfort and that our patients should encourage us when we do so. To my patient, more than a languid thank you, I send my most sincere feeling of emotion and that her words remind me that she and the other patients are the main objective of our care.
- Modern Physician's Oath (The Lasagna Oath). hospicepatients.org . Accessed 01 September 2019
- Expressions of Gratitude and Medical Team Performance. Pediatrics. April 2019, VOLUME 143 / ISSUE 4
- The Impact of Rudeness on Medical Team Performance: A Randomized Trial. Pediatrics. September 2015, VOLUME 136 / ISSUE 3