Sometimes when I hear a comment over and over it sticks. Over the years I have come to realize that one of the reasons I love practicing medicine is that I love to teach. I like it when I have the chance to explain a complex topic. This week I explained lots of difficult to understand medical concepts like the mechanism of an SNRI and the importance of mammogram in early detection of breast cancer. I explained how the same symptoms can be caused by two very different etiologies and why it is important to check certain labs and not others.
I also like to tell my patients about things we just don't understand. Likewise, I ask a lot of questions and try to understand why patients feel the way they do about medical concerns so I can understand what I need to teach them allowing our patients to make good decisions for themselves based on their beliefs.
I believe patients should have autonomy. After all it is your body. I see myself as a tool, like a compass. I can point North but ultimately your feet have to move you down that path.
I share all this because patients are increasingly interested in getting to know their doctors and medical providers. Patients are smart, and they have choices. At Ashewell, we think communication is the bedrock of medicine and if it takes us more time to help you understand why we recommend the things we do, we will take that time.
Yes, we do things a little different but my compass pointed me in this direction and I have found this path is one of pure fulfillment.
Carly Brown, MD