A Few Physician's New Year's Resolutions
It’s that time of the year when it is customary that people make New Year’s resolutions. Doctors should be no exception regarding their professional behavior.
One significant defect that a number of doctors bear, either because of time constraints or their own disinterest, is failure to take into consideration the whole patient and family when evaluating a medical condition. Though medical schools try to stress to their students that there is more to a patient’s illness than simply the biologic disorder. There are also psychologic and social issues involved. Sometimes this teaching gets lost as a busy practice develops. To understand these non-biologic factors, a physician practicing in a multi-cultural environment, as many do, must also have some understanding of the way patients from different cultures and religions look at the illness, which has befallen them. This learning often comes piecemeal to the doctor.
Another resolution would be for the physician to feel and be less rushed. Rushing leads to mistakes and poor relationships with their patients. Though it is true these days that time constraints are placed on the doctor’s practice, nevertheless, often these constraints are due to improper organization of the practice system and by consultation with management specialists, the physician’s time can be better organized and more will become available.
Finally for this posting, how about a doctor’s resolution to be a health model for their patients? There are still some doctors who smoke and are grossly overweight. Could this be the resolution hardest to keep in the upcoming year?
Do you have any other suggestions as to a physician’s New Year resolutions? ..Maurice.