Thursday, January 26, 2012

An Open letter to Doctors in Residency

You can't just go to school and be a Doctor, more specifically, an M.D..  Though I suppose you could play one on TV.  There is a long residency program, then time spent in specialty.  Part of the residencies usually include clinic hours - you know, the T.V. version in House? No-one wants to do them.

The patients at these clinics usually don't have a choice of places to go, otherwise they wouldn't be going there.  Here is an open letter to Doctors at a clinic such as described above.  If you know of any Doctors in training, please pass this along.

Dear Doctors,

You are so close to being done with school. For some of you a few more months, for others, a few more years before you set out on your own.

Before you got here, your patients were here.  When you leave, they remain.  The caring staff and nurses are the only stability the patients have when they go “to the doctor,” and they are wonderful.

If it were up to me, I would be going to a small practice, with doctors who know me and my children by name.  A place where we do not have to give a full medical history to each doctor we see.  A small group of who love what they do without the dreaded “clinic hours.”

Unfortunately, I can’t right now.  Thankfully, we have a place to go, a place that will see my children when they need to be seen, and doctors who can help when they are both sick and well.  I also know  it is state insurance that allows us this.  So do you.

I ask of you, please, remember that we are not just names on a sheet of paper.  We are families who rely on your generosity and your commitment our health.  Remember that the children who come here are scared, young, and trusting. Remember that they are also impressionable, and have longer memories that you think.  Remember that though we are poor, we respect ourselves and you, and expect you to reciprocate this respect.  Remember that the children you see are real, not just clinic cases.  They need smiles and high fives, they need pats on the back, and firm urges to eat well, brush their teeth, and wash their hands.  They need to trust you.  They need to learn to trust all doctors, for you are the first ones they will ever know.  You are creating the base that will indelibly mark their opinion of doctors for the rest of their lives.

Thank you for your time, and good Luck in your future pursuits.


(The parent of two current patients)

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