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Thursday, March 12, 2020

Who Is Seeing The Whole Picture?

Who is Seeing the Whole Picture?


I love this image of a health care provider looking into a patient's problems. I can work with patients for a long time and realize I am only seeing such a small part of who they are and what ails them. Health care providers learn to look through the stuff that separates them from the patient, but only as a patient opens up. I am afraid modern-day medicine is retreating behind a thick wall to some degree. The beautiful art of medicine lies in the decoding process of all the pieces we are given. Recently I have been treating a patient named Stephanie. Because of how serious her injury is, I am really getting to know her due to our frequent visits, email, and phone calls. She has a nerve injury we are trying to sort out. She is getting many opinions on my recommendations. We talk, we e-mail, and we explore. I am so impressed at her strength, but understand her fear. Most health care providers want to see their patients face-to-face for every exchange, but it is not practical. The fragmented images of the patient's problem, are even more fragmented on paper, phone, or Internet, but it is just a new learning curve. I have learned to love the ease of using e-mail. But, since I am from San Francisco, I miss the hugs (probably why I got into medicine in the first place).

           The world is crying out for health care providers to be primary care doctors (where the buck stops!!) Not triage doctors who hear a complaint and just swish you around to various specialists. Every specialty should have super-specialists and general care specialists. I feel I do a decent job as the primary care podiatrist for my patients’ foot and ankle problems. By being the primary foot care specialist, the buck stops with me!! Even though I am sending Stephanie to various specialists, I gladly take full responsibility to help her decide her options, to wade through the complexities. If you have a foot injury, you should have a primary care foot specialist who takes care of youand that can be a physical therapist, podiatrist, orthopedist, chiropractor, etc., someone who is committed to know what everyone is saying, and to see you through the injury to the end. Someone who will be privileged to see you at a deeper level. I know what you are thinking now, but I can dream can't I.

This was an excerpt from my book "Secrets to Keep Moving: A Guide from a Podiatrist"


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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.