Knowing Your Patients and the Art of Medicine
March 31, 2012 in Patient Care
Art and creativity are inseparable. They are intimately connected.
In no way is it creative to simply funnel patients through, check off labs, reorder the same prescriptions, and set up the same follow-ups. But this is what can happen when a rushed internist or family medicine physician assistant sees 30 patients a day. The practice of medicine becomes more mechanical, the provider more robotic. Less time spent with patients equates to less opportunity to practice the art of medicine.
We can only become creative in medicine when we really get to know our patients, when we take the time to both develop and nurture genuine interpersonal relationships.
Practicing the art of medicine is temporarily withholding that diabetes medication for Hal because you understand him well enough to know he will be more motivated to establish an exercise routine if it means having to take less medication. Practicing the art of medicine is starting that same diabetes medication now for Janie because you understand her well enough to know her anxiety disorder will be exacerbated if nothing is initiated right away.
If you fail to know your patients, you fail to practice the art of medicine. If you fail to practice the art of medicine, then you fail period.