September 2010

Through the patient's eyes

They say that people who take care of other people should have the experience of being a patient themselves, to really understand what it feels like.

Well, I recently had that experience at our Medical Center—actually twice in one week—and I can confirm that it gives you a perspective unlike any other.

What I took away was a profound sense of admiration for the care I received and for the extraordinary professionalism of everyone I came in contact with.  I was also struck by how far medicine and nursing have come since I first became a doctor.

Given my usual role, I guess you could say I felt a bit like a chef who is served his own food. I have to tell you that—despite the circumstances (which of course I could have done without)—I thought it “tasted” great!

As so many of us try to do in our daily roles, I got to see our Medical Center through the eyes of a patient—but this time, literally. The experience left me with a redoubled conviction that this is truly a special place, and that we are making tangible headway in our efforts to make people feel they are in the best possible hands, surrounded by compassionate, committed, supremely competent allies.

I’ve been privileged, these past three years, to receive many letters from grateful patients. And nothing could make me prouder than writing to all of you a grateful letter of my own.