A Letter to Patients I Will Meet

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. -Psalm 34:19

Dear Sir or Madam, 

As I stand before you, introducing myself, requesting your permission to speak with you for a while  in order to understand why you are currently with me in hospital, I humbly request that you discard any preconceived notions you may have formed towards medical personnel. 

Bare in mind, medicine is a practice and the field is always changing especially with the advancement of technology and as such, the way in which I will learn and become competent in various disease conditions and clinical presentations of pathology is through sitting and talking with as many patients and their families to build a chronological series of events in order to properly diagnose and treat as well as through physical examination of the organ systems which may be affected. 

As a fourth year student, I'll admit that there are some things that I still do not grasp by simply reading a textbook, however, it is slowly making sense the more I speak with and examine various patients. 

I won't stand before you and pretend that I am at the top of my class and the brightest bulb in the box because I am not; but I am deeply concerned about your health and willing to do as much as I can to ensure you leave the hospital in hopefully a better state than when you first entered and with a plan to manage your ailment. 

My first week of my Internal Medicine rotation, was more than I had expected. There were 5 codes that my Team was called to assist with, 2 of which I actively participated in. Never in my life have I experienced anything like it-doing everything I can to keep my compressions deep enough and to ensure the breaths I administered with the aid of a bag and mask apparatus were sufficient. No OSCE examination could have ever prepared me for such an experience; wanting nothing more for each patient to be resuscitated. At the end of it all, the pain and tiredness that enveloped me prior to each code was nonexistent and my entire being was consumed with the mission of saving each and every life. 

I hope you can see through my demeanor, my approach when I ask questions pertaining to your life even those awkward social history questions that delve into your personal sexual habits [which I am learning to ask in a less uncomfortable way] and how I conduct vital physical examinations that your health and care is my priority as well as that of my Team. 

As I advance in my medical studies, your clinical presentation will assist me as I study and you may never understand how or why but it will. Your stories provide me with encouragement, joy and laughter and your progress gives me hope and strengthens my belief in the power of prayer. 

Thank you for your patience, your good spirits and your willingness to engage and indulge this interested yet clueless student even when you are down right fed up with being poked, probed and examined. 


Future Doctor Dorsett.

No comments