The other day, a friend told me that when I went to the doctor, I often had the feeling that the important thing was the doctor, when the most important thing should be the patient.
In this regard, I recently read a wonderful short story by Galeano which I wanted to share with you:
“A man from the city of Neguá, on the coast of Colombia, managed to climb to the high sky. On his return he said that he contemplated human life from above. And he said that we are a sea of small fires. This is the world,” he. a lot of people, a lot of shots. Each person shines with his own light among all the others. No two fires are alike. There are big fires and small fires and fires of all colors. There are people with clear fire, who do not even know of the wind and people with crazy fire that fills the air with sparks. Some fires, foolish fires, do not light or burn; but others burn life with such passion that you cannot look at them without blinking, and anyone who approaches him lights up. “
We should all try to be the last “little fire” type, the one who “lights” the one who is approaching. But especially doctors. We have this opportunity and this responsibility towards our patients.
The placebo effect of empathy
When a patient leaves a consultation, there can be 3 types of possible reactions:
He says, “What a disaster, I’m not coming back.”
Say, “Okay, they’re professionals.”
Let him come out and say, “How wonderful! How well they treated me!
The latter is what we doctors must try to achieve: set a emotional connection with patients through our treatment and how we made them feel in our practice. Patients do not remember why they came to us, but they will remember how they felt in our practice.
Also, if this empathy is achieved, we get it two very clear benefits about the patient: knowledge The placebo effectthat is, the patient improves directly due to a psychosomatic effect and, above all, the assurance that the patient will be involved in therapeutic compliance or in the recommendations prescribed by the doctor, ie greater “adherence” to treatment.
People who are dedicated to medicine must be the kind of “small fire” that “ignites” others, which makes them better. In the case of dermatologists, helping our patients through the skin. And we must be, as the story goes, a serene fire, which is not sensitive to wind (fashion, unrealistic expectations, money, pharmaceuticals, time trends, etc.). For this reason, medicine is not about constantly doing extraordinary things, but about doing normal daily tasks in an extraordinary way.
Because we doctors sometimes heal, but we have to always improves.