It was an idea about three years ago which then became a reality. The inspiration was patient’s positive response to good talking, good listening, and good explanation. Patients need more input from their doctors in connection with their illnesses and they need to be seen and treated as human beings but not just illnesses. Patients expect doctors to see their illnesses as a small part of them and treat it as such. A doctor who treats a disease in my view is seeing life through a binoculus magnifier.Yes, that doctor could probably see a lot of the disease itself but wont see the patient, and that can be a barrier towards success in the medical profession.
During my work with patients with different neurological disorders (especially those with no identified cause like migraine, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia) I have discovered many things; most of which have a lot to do with “understanding”.
Understanding on the doctor’s side, and understanding on the patient’s side. I can also add another dimension to these: doctor-patient relationship.
I do strongly believe in the fact that the main purpose of any doctor in the hospital is to help patients. Everything else that doctor likes to do (research, teaching, administration, etc) should be secondary to the prime duty of looking after his or her patients.If we (doctors) all agree that our main job is to look after our patients, then we should agree as well on doing this job perfectly well up to the best of our ability.
Obviously I don’t mean here mobile phones, or television, or internet. I mean personal communications….. I mean the art of listening, the art of understanding, the art of explaining, and the art of delivering.
We need (doctors) to be aware at all time that, our patients are “ill” , and that is the only reason why anyone of them leaves his/her work to come to the hospital, or surgery. There are queues on the roads, queues to get to the hospital, queues to register in, and queues to wait for each ones turn to see a doctor.
This means that everyone comes to the hospital to see a doctor has enough reason to do that, and that reason is so significant to the patient. We need to be considerate, sympathetic, and kind enough to make our patients relaxed, comfortable, and feel that the doctor is there to help them. Patients may feel frustrated, anxious, and irritable because of their health concerns. They may get agitated very easily, and they may shout at us for simple reasons…. it is us (doctors) who must compromise, and control our tempers. We are here (at work) to help, support, comfort, and be nice to our patients. We can only do that a smile and professionalism.Doctors know very well that, not every illness is organic in nature, and not every illness can be picked up (confirmed) by investigations. Hence, it does not cost money to smile, and it does not cost money to explain to our patients about their illnesses even if they are judged by us as not organic (functional) in nature. Doctors need to treat their patients as human beings, and try never to see them as “diseases”!.The main purpose of this website is to try and reduce the gap of understanding between doctors and their patients, for better understanding, and better professional relationship.The best way to achieve that is for every one of us (doctors and patients) to engage in cool exchange of thoughts and ideas, and to engage in the process of give and take. I am aiming in this website to give a chance for everyone to be able to take (advises, ideas, opinions), and to give (feedback, and contribution) for a better tomorrow to all of us.
M Belhag, Editor in chief.