Do you believe that your doctor cares for your well-being? Adam Eid Ramsey, MD, the Alt-Resident Representative to the Board of Directors at the NY State Academy of Family Physicians confesses, “Long after we leave the office and fill the patient’s prescription, the memory of the patient encounter frequently lingers in our minds, reviewing the data one more time to make sure we got it right. I often see my mother or father or wife or brother in my patients and that drives me to want to ensure I have done everything humanly possible to improve the quality of my patients’ lives.”
The best doctors care 24/7 for each individual they have the privilege to treat. “My patients are the reason why I do what I do every day and they inspire me in difficult times like this pandemic” Dr. Ramsey adds. Although it is easy to get caught up in the multitude of information out there, especially during this pandemic, doctors generally do act with the intent to help each and every one of their patients.
Can You Trust Your Doctor?
However, in recent years the public’s trust in the medical profession has wavered. The New York Times shared in 2018 that trust in the medical profession has been declining for decades. Yet, mistrust in the medical profession — particularly during emergencies like epidemics — can have deadly consequences.
Studies show that those with high levels of trust in their physician are more likely to take their medications and follow treatment plans. The level of belief you have in your doctor directly correlates to your adherence to their treatment plan, a plan tailored and optimized for your particular situation, despite what Google has to say about it! Without your participation in the plan, the best doctor cannot get you better. Trust is critical to your health!
Luckily, in light of the pandemic, trust in medical doctors in the U.S. has been mostly positive. According to a 2020 Pew Research study, 74% of U.S. adults have a positive view of medical doctors and 57% believe that doctors care about the best interests of their patients. Hopefully with these bolstered numbers we will begin to see better patient outcomes across the nation.
Doctors are Human Too
Although healthcare workers have been called the “heroes of the front lines” (Time), behind the mask, they are human too.
“We have families and lives outside of the hospital. We make many sacrifices to spend time treating patients. Although we signed up for this job because we want to help others, any moment of spare time is cherished,” Dr. Ramsey explains. “However, just as we are human, we are doctors 24/7. We are there to help in the hospital, at home or even the grocery store”.
I recently read an article in the Post-Journal about a doctor on a last-minute shopping errand who was stopped by a patient in the grocery store. Rather than brushing her off, he spent a few minutes answering her questions. As she walked away she declared, “That’s Dr. Woloszyn, the best doctor ever!”
That’s because the best doctors are the ones that care about their patients, even after their clinic door closes and the lights are turned off.
“When my patients thank me, it makes my day! After all, my patients inspire me to continue working,” Dr. Ramsey adds. “Recently, one of my patients at the hospital thanked me for being awesome, and I replied that she’s the reason why I wake up to do what I do every day. We hugged and took a selfie. It is when I get to connect with my patients on a human level that all of my training and time pays off!”
So, next time you see your doctor, tell them thanks. We could all use a little more kindness and patience during these trying times and a reminder that everyone is human, just doing their best. Afterall, a person may not remember exactly what you did or said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. The question is, how would you like to be remembered?