When a doctor speaks, who usually is the winner? Are his/her actions crowning him king, or crowning the patient king? Sometimes parents are bothered over what a doctor never tell you, their child. It should not be so.
I have discovered that most doctors are slow to say somethings when in seeing patients/clients. Keep reading to find out what these things are.
Recently, I was chatting with a senior colleague doing his residency program at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. I had called in to briefly say ‘Hi’, it had been a while we had a chit-chat.
He sounded distant and far; surely something was not right. It was clear he had a lot on his mind. Then suddenly, he asked me;
“Is it proper for me to tell the truth about a cancer to a patient, or to simple not say anything especially since he had other terminal illness?”
I was shocked at his question. I needed to know more about the patient, so he went on to narrate how the patient, who have under in his unit, have been suffering from a terminal illness. Now, new investigations confirm that he is having another cancerous lesion in his body.
At the end of our conversation, it was clear that we needed more experienced opinion for his predicament. He would seek further counsel from senior colleagues.
Despite all our technological advances in medical science; we still don’t know what is could cause a whole lot of conditions or what is wrong with patients an astonishing amount of time; and to give a logical explanation to it could be quite herculean.
So what do Doctor’s do? We keep digging for answers. We invite other colleagues in other specialties for a consult. Thankfully we have the nurses and other health professionals that ensure clients get standard care while a hunt for the diagnosis is launched.
A whole lot of time, the diagnosis is made – treatment and care is started, but you would never hear a doctor say to you: “It was a hard one getting your diagnosis” (even though it was) or “Other experts are invited to come look at you because we don’t know what is wrong with you” (evidently that is the case).
In reality, management of a patient is a rigorous process involving serious mental work and physical consultations. The training of doctors allow them to divulge little or no stress while in the process of patient care. Even in grave situations, medical doctors are supposed to pose as beckons of hope. They must shun despair and keep ‘working’ for the good of the patient until ‘death do us part’.
A Medical doctor will never tell you words that would make you give up hope. That is why most sad news are told to patient relatives by the most experienced doctor. Even when the prognosis (that is outcome of a disease) is bad and hopeless, his words must never betray your hope and rather keep you going.
Naturally, we won’t tell you much about nutrition, vitamins, minerals or supplements – because in most Nigerian medical schools they teach nothing about this. But most doctors get a handle of this when they come into practice and are faced with patients who need to get sound medical opinion about vitamins and mineral intake.
Even though there are dietetics professionals in major government hospitals, doctors still have to fill in the gap of teaching this. But know that this knowledge, like some other knowledge or skills, is purely ‘self-help’ for most doctors.
You will most likely never hear a doctor tell you about cost. How many of you have noticed this?
Well this is very true for a number of reasons. 90% of doctors do not know how much the investigations and tests cost, or how much the meds they prescribe cost. Since doctors are primarily involved in clinical services, they most likely may not know the financial angle to most of these because usually, these costs are not fixed by the clinicians but by professional accountants.
Moreover, the costs of these services are usually not fixed, and when there is a change, doctors who even know a little about cost of some hospital services, lose track of the new cost.
So a doctor would be safe to simply say, ‘Sorry I do not know the cost of this test’… and kindly point you to the direction where your enquiry would be attended to.
It becomes clear, that at the end of the day, what a doctor never tell you, his actions and in-actions ensures that the patient is ultimately the winner.