National Doctors’ Day
Did you know there is a national day to honor physicians? In 1990, the U.S. Congress established a National Doctors’ Day, first celebrated on March 30, 1991.
The first Doctors’ Day observance was March 30, 1933, in Winder, Georgia. The idea came from a doctor’s wife, Eudora Brown Almond, and the date was the anniversary of the first use of general anesthetic in surgery.
Doctors’ Day 2020
But Doctors’ Day 2020 will be somber for not only U.S. doctors, but for physicians all over the world. This year we are all working together against the toughest medical foe any of us have ever faced- the novel coronavirus pandemic.
You may not have a chance to honor your doctor in person, but you can commit to doing your part to establish a trusting, respectful relationship with your doctors. It will be good for both of you.
how to improve communication with your doctors-
Be open and honest about your medical history,lifestyle, and concerns.
Sometimes patients leave out important information due to forgetting, thinking it’s not important, embarrassment, or fear. But that may be the very piece of data I need to pinpoint what’s wrong.
So tell the doctor
- If you can’t do something you’re asked to do
- If you can’t afford medication, tests, or treatment
- If you are afraid of a test or treatment
- If other doctors are caring for you
- Your social habits-alcohol use, smoking, sexual behavior
Learn more tips on talking with your doctor here-
How to talk to your doctor to improve your medical care
Give details about your problem, explain what you feel
I find that patients often have difficulty describing how they feel. They may say they hurt, cough, itch or get short of breath, but give few details. Maybe because we use text messaging with its brevity, abbreviations and emoticons. We have forgotten how to use descriptive words.
I don’t think we doctors expect our patients to always recite a rehearsed narrative about “why I came to the doctor today.” But it does help if you come prepared to answer questions as specifically as possible.
You might try thinking about your problem using the PQRST mnemonic. It will help your doctor identify possible causes for your symptoms, and may also help you understand your problem and even suggest ways you can help yourself.
Find out what PQRST means at this post-
How to tell your doctor what’s wrong with you.
Recognize your doctors are people first
As physicians, our patients’ “social histories” help us understand factors in your life that impact your health -where you live, your job, your family, your hobbies . Besides that, we enjoy getting to know you, especially the things that make you and your life unique and interesting. That feeling can go both ways.
Exchanging a few social words can make the encounter more satisfying for you and your doctor. Some of us will be more open about sharing our personal lives, and some subjects may be off limits. But I don’t think any of us will object to polite, caring interest in our lives outside of medicine.
You may cry when you read about a unique doctor-patient relationship in this post-
A simple way to help your doctor beat burnout
Finally, in honor of Doctors’ Day, meet some physicians with unique experiences to share, just a few of the many doctors who work tirelessly to share the HEART of health.
Dr. Kent Brantly awoke feeling ill- muscle aches, fever, sore throat, headache and nausea. As his condition progressively worsened to include difficulty breathing, he learned the cause of his illness- the Ebola virus. Having spent the past few weeks caring for patients caught up in the Ebola epidemic that swept Liberia in the spring of 2014, Dr. Brantly had contracted the disease himself, and would likely die, as almost all victims do.
Continue this story at-
Surviving Ebola, “Called for Life”- Dr. Kent Brantly
When she applied for a position in New York City at the NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), Dr. Judy Melinek never imagined that decision would plunge her into the nightmare of September 11, 2001. She was at the ME office that day when the Twin Towers were attacked and fell, killing thousands of people.
She and the other staff collaborated with the team of investigators who worked night and day identifying remains of the victims, a task she vividly describes in the book. This was basically their only job, since the cause of death was for the most part irrelevant, and impossible to determine. Sometimes they had only a small body part, as little as a finger, to extract DNA to identity a victim. Such identification was critical to bring closure to the families who lost loved ones, people who left for work that day, and never came home.
Read more about Dr. Melinek at this review of her book-
Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and The Making of a Medical Examiner- a review of words worth sharing
Meet the 91 year old still practicing physician, whose grandfather was a slave- Melissa Freeman, M.D.
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exploring the HEART of dedicated physicians
Join me on Facebook March 30 through April 3 where I share stories about physicians past and present who share the HEART of health every day.
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