Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Letter #16

Dear Future Physician,

I applaud you for making the decision to seek out a medical degree. I hope you will use it to help those truly in need of medical help. We need more caring physicians who will take the time to get to know their patients and their caregivers instead of treating them as another patient and/or study.

There will be many children and adults you will see over your career. Please take the time to truly listen to their concerns. So much goes unnoticed, usually too late, when a Doctor doesn’t take the time to truly listen. It might seem trivial to you, but to the patients, parents and caregivers, it isn’t. Also, remember, the parents know their children the best. They are with them 24/7.

I am the mother to four wonderful sons. Two of which have rare birth defects and one suffers from severe Chronic health issues. Many things have been missed or thought to have been something else when it was a more serious issue. His Doctors were not listening to me.

If there is anything I can impress upon your mind, is listening to your patients and their caregivers and to communicate with them what is going on with their treatment.

Our Pediatrician heads up the Residency program at our local Childrens Hospital. He has always listened to me and communicates what he is going to do for my sons. He has taught me how to care for my sons and because of that, they are pretty darn healthy considering what they have. He has always been there for us regardless and he is that way with all his patients. He teaches what he preaches to all his parents and Residents. We have had many opportunities to move elsewhere but don’t because of our Doctor. He has helped one son defy the odds of his life expectancy because he truly cares. He is dedicated to doing what needs to be done, not what the insurance wants.

I hope you will find some time to write some goals to set throughout your medical career. It isn’t about how many surgeries you have done or what rare new disease you found, but how you treat others, by listening and communicating effectively.

Mrs. Shelly R.

Mom to the only boys who are the same birth defect: hypospadius. Paul, Sean, Daniel and Peter….all repaired.
Sean: VACTERLS Association, Dysautonomia, Suspected Mitochondrial Disorder, Chronic Lung Disease, Horner’s syndrome, Cyclic Vomiting syndrome, Heat Intolerance, Stressed Induced Diabetes, Fever sydrome, Tracheaomalacia, Syringomyelia…….the list goes on. Dx’d 2days old. 17 surgeries. One happy and smart boy!

Daniel: Chiari Malformation-decompressed, Syringomyelia, Dysautonomia. Sweet and precious to all.

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