‘Please Doctor, how is he doing’, and patient asked, and the reply was ‘We are managing him well’.


I believe this is a common answer in the hospital environment. Most patient’s relatives or care-giver have had to wonder, “Why not treat him well, instead of ‘managing’ him”. Is it that doctors have run out of options on the next step to take in the treatment of the patient? The answer is a NO!

The term ‘management’ or ‘managing’ is used commonly by medical/health workers to include the history of the patient, the physical examination to be done, the ancillary investigation/tests, and treatment every patient would be subjected to, for care to be complete. Simply put, the four (4) phases of medical management.

Most times, doctors would have a working diagnosis at the end of history taking, ie question and answer time, a management phase when doctors depends on their clinical acumen. Any test or investigation requested are either to confirm a diagnosis in the mind of the doctor or to rule out such diagnosis. This is also another level of management.

Erroneously, people assume that doctors manage patients, just at the level of administration of drugs. This is the lest of the phases of management, because the real deal is to clinch a diagnosis, upon which subsequent ‘managing’ would depend.

So, when next your doctor says, ‘we are managing him well’; you could simply ask, ‘what phase of management are you at?’, and like the norm in Medical circles, you ll get the full gist of the present state of the patient.

Never assume you are too well informed, or that you do not need the details as well… Every detail matter, for it is your right to know!!!

photo credit: Dreamstime.com


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