I vividly remember when I was so excited to have finished my very long tough 10 years of post graduate training going through clinical Internship, Residency , Research Fellowship then Clinical / Interventional Cardiology Fellowship in Long Island, New York City as I was moving to Florida to finally start working in Private Practice and everyone was envying me for going there!
I could not understand why as the first three summer months went like this , it was almost raining everyday, hot , humid , fogging of my glasses and moving in and out wet even with the umbrella to air conditioned areas and getting cold and my oldest daughter who was got sick with allergies , almost stopped breathing and had to be put in an oxygen chamber, but thank God , she got better and has been ok since then the weather started to cool off and sky turn beautiful clear blue and then saw the snowbirds coming in to Florida from all over the United states and Canada and the rest of the world,so I started to appreciate being in Florida after a rough start!.
Then , I remember my very first patient who was introduced by his wife and both became like family since!. We used to laugh a lot when his chart was the only one in the rack ( in the old days before Electronic Medical Records !) as he was jokingly suggesting to spray the rack with (Miracle Grow) because for few months , his chart was the only one in the chart rack!. Well,he noted on subsequent office visits that that the rack was getting packed with charts and racks had to be upgraded many times to accommodate the ever increasing number of patients coming to my humble Cardiology/Internal Medicine practice.
So, through 17 years of our relationship with him and his wife, he became the star of all our practice events such as annual Health Fairs, Business Mixers with the Chamber of Commerce and other community events where he proudly share his positive experience with our practice. He spoke not only about the medical services he received as he was treated successfully for critical blockages in one of his main coronary arteries and I got that fixed with putting coronary stents and he did great since then with no further complains of chest pain or need for any further procedures on aggressive medical regimen. But also, he spoke also about how he was treated with compassion and saved so much unnecessary healthcare spending by coming to our practice . He spoke about how he enjoyed the visits , and usually after covering the medical issues, he would share his life , job, kids and grand kids, plans, dreams and he never forgot about his ( Miracle Grow joke)!
I speak multiple languages among which is Arabic . The physician can be called either doctor or (Hakeem) which means ( the Wise man or Hakeema )for a lady doctor) reflecting added quality built in the doctor in addition to medical skills is to be able in general to make and give people wise decisions!.
So patients may seek advice on personal life, marriage, kids, finances or simply find a shoulder to cry on, and I joke with my patients who carry on these discussions off the medical issues that I am not a religious authority or a marriage counselor or a social worker and we all have a good laugh!
My patients call me not infrequently asking me to pray for them when they go through tough times or loosing loved ones and I never turn anyone down making them at ease and provide them with comfort when needed most.
This human interaction for me is the real joy and honor of practicing this noble profession in addition to providing superb professional services. Being a doctor was never about money and lavish life style. It is about serving and helping people and if your patients see and feel that , they will follow you to the moon!
Sadly, with all the non-sense that is happening in Medicine, I strongly believe in the direct care Medicine between the patient and his doctor with no hassle or control of the third party is the way to go. Just the old fashion way with this strong relationship where the patient trusts his/her doctor and the doctor educate, advocate and serve his patients with the highest ethical standards.
To be able to actually concentrate on doing what we were trained to do which is to deliver the best care of patients , save them money and treat them like family.