Friday, July 3, 2009

Greetings to the newbie doctors!

While reading the news this morning I came across this article about emergency rooms in "Scientific American." It references the fact that this weekend emergency room visits may not be well advised, not because of the new crop of doctors that are beginning the academic year, but because of excessive holiday makers clogging the system and causing long waits.

I'd like to say welcome to all those new doctors, and point out that we, their patients, are part of their training and that we, their patients will very soon be dependent on their training for our own well being as time passes. New doctors don't evaporate into the ether after their residency, but become involved and reactive experienced doctors. What they become, and the way they handle situations will in some degree depend on their experiences with you- you are a part of their training, for good or ill.

My experience is that the new people coming out of medical school are extremely bright, quick thinking and extensively educated. It is usual for them to have the most recent knowledge and be familiar with the most progressive treatments. They have yet to acquire a "bedside manner" and their experience at your bedside is going to determine what their manner becomes. If you can focus on your own "enlightened self interest" you will realize that making the inexperienced doctor comfortable and relaxed will only improve his or her performance. Be interested in them, teach them that patients can be helpful to them, show them that you respect the ordeal of education that they have been going through, and you will then reap many benefits.

Ovid once said "to be loved, be lovable," and I will add "to be cured, be curable."

My generation is aging fast, and the discipline of medicine is advancing at an amazing rate. We will be cared for by the young more and more, and we will get amazingly fine and committed care from them; and we are all responsible for their training.

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