A Great Doctor-Patient Relationship….It Can Be a Beautiful Thing
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“You were snoring.” I’ll never forget hearing those words from my doctor. He chuckled as he said them. Did I mention this conversation took place mid-surgery, when I was supposed to be asleep? My doctor, a very distinguished, well-known plastic surgeon, had the nerve to tell me I was snoring. Okay, it may have been a payback because I had just looked up during surgery to see a surgical needle and thread hovering over my face as he stitched me up, and in my groggy state of mind blurted out ‘I thought you said I’d be asleep!’ My doctor jumped, surprised that I was talking to him. (Words of advice: don’t startle your doctor when he’s stitching your face.) He told me I had been asleep, and in fact had been snoring. I started to protest that I had not been snoring, but promptly fell back asleep.

My trusted surgeon

At that point in time, he had been my doctor for several years. He continued to be my doctor for the next 17 years, until his retirement. The day he told me he would be retiring soon, I was honestly devastated. This is the man who was my doctor for the last 20 years. He had performed all of my numerous skin cancer surgeries. I knew he had my best interests at heart. I trusted him completely in his surgical and care plan for me. A few months prior to the day he told me he would soon be retiring, when it was apparent I would need yet another surgery (this one much more extensive than I had ever had previously) I wanted to wait several months to have the surgery, until after my daughter’s marching band season was over. My doctor strongly suggested that I not wait and instead have the surgery scheduled right away. At the time I didn’t know why, but he told me later that he knew he would be retiring and he wanted to see my surgery and recovery through to the end.

Benefits of trusting your doctor

The benefits of having a great doctor-patient relationship are enormous. If you find a doctor in whom you have complete confidence, one who will not only listen to your concerns but also take them into consideration, one who will explain every step of his or her treatment plan to you to make sure you’re on board and understand it completely, then you are truly blessed.

I still miss my doctor, but I still disagree that I was snoring.

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One comment on “A Great Doctor-Patient Relationship….It Can Be a Beautiful Thing

  1. April Pulliam moderator says:

    I wholeheartedly agree, Judy. I was fortunate enough to have two wonderful dermatologists over the years who listened to my every concern and gave me thorough exams with each visit. Both were extremely approachable but both have moved. Getting used to a new dermatologist is difficult. You are so right. We are blessed to find the good ones. Great piece!

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