#112: The Power of Believing your Patients

April 24, 2024

                                                                                      Listen here…

   In this episode, I want to dive into something a bit different and personal. I want to share why I firmly believe in my patients, how that belief has pushed me to think outside the box, and why I think there’s a crucial paradigm shift needed in medicine.

   During my training as a physician, I was taught not to trust patients completely. It’s a mindset ingrained in many of us in the medical field. But my background in nursing taught me the importance of being a patient advocate. My mother, an RN,BSN, instilled in me the value of listening to, respecting, and caring for patients.

    I vividly remember a patient who was treated with disrespect simply because of her weight. Despite her struggles, she was an incredibly intelligent and fascinating person. It broke my heart to see her being judged based on her appearance, rather than being treated with dignity and understanding.

   That experience and many others like it shaped my belief system. I firmly believe that patients should be trusted and listened to. They are experts in their own bodies, with a unique understanding of what they’re going through. One patient once said to me, “I have a PhD in me,” and that statement has stayed with me ever since. It’s a reminder to acknowledge and respect the wealth of knowledge patients bring to the table.

   Thinking outside the box is another crucial aspect of my approach to patient care. I’ve encountered situations where unconventional explanations turned out to be the key to understanding and treating a condition. For instance, a patient attributing a herpes outbreak to a dog bite seemed far-fetched at first. However, considering the stress and possible infection from such an event, it made sense upon deeper reflection.

   I’ve also experienced firsthand the impact of miscommunication in healthcare. Patients often follow instructions to the letter, even if they seem unreasonable, simply because they trust their providers. I recall an incident where a patient was ridiculed for following an instruction given by a physician. It highlighted the importance of clear and compassionate communication in healthcare settings.

   As a physician, I not only believe in my patients but also empower them to trust themselves. Each individual is unique, and their journey to wellness often requires active participation and decision-making. I encourage patients to be active partners in their care, recognizing that they know their bodies best.

    Moreover, I believe there’s a fundamental shift needed in the practice of medicine. The traditional top-down approach, where doctors dictate and patients comply, is outdated. Fear-based tactics and judgmental attitudes only hinder the healing process. Instead, we need a paradigm of love and partnership—a team approach where patients are empowered and accountable for their health.

     My journey as a physician has taught me the importance of believing in patients, thinking creatively, and fostering a culture of trust and respect in healthcare. It’s not just about treating symptoms; it’s about understanding each patient’s unique story and empowering them to be active participants in their healing journey.

Share this post:

You may also like