Starting when I was 6, Uncle Doc took me on home calls in his truck with his two medical bags. He usually went in the evening and was prepared for driving up creek beds, gravel roads, across fields to get to his patient’s home. He and I would go into the home and “visit” with the patient and their family. That meant I would spend time with the children while he listened to the patient discuss their problems and he assessed their problems.
I remember over the years learning the importance of listening. His patients might not know the medical terminology, but they knew their symptoms. He could accurately diagnose conditions from talking to his patient and listening in about 90% of the time (per his discussions with me). I learned that in the absence of an x-ray or an EKG you could diagnose lung and cardiac disease. I learned to truly listen and to love direct patient care that was provided by a Doctor who gave his heart to his patients, considered psychosocial issues as well as clinical issues in determining the right treatment.
I learned to “Care” under his tutelage. Caring comes from the heart as does the practice of effective, good medicine that considers everything it hears, its physical findings, the social situations and comes up with a solution that a patient can embrace. If you don’t “Care” then you were not called to be a Doctor. That is what should determine whether you spend 9 to 12 years preparing to embrace the sick, promote a healthy lifestyle and support families as well as the individual.
I was called to be a Doctor who “Cares”. I was taught in school to be a clinician. I was taught on home calls, in Uncle Doc’s office and at the breakfast and dinner table how to be a Physician who truly “Cares” for others. Uncle Doc was my father, and this is my tribute to this man who prepared me to be a “Caring” Chief Medical Officer for NAHA Health.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Seek out a Doctor who “Cares” about you to help make your quality of life better.
Goodwill and good health, one life at a time,