Friday, September 21, 2012

THE FIVE KEYS TO A GOOD PHYSICIAN

"Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech
always be gracious, seasoned with SALT, so that you know how you should respond to each one."
                                                                                                 
                                                                                Colossians 4:5-6


Parents and other caregivers like the grandparents, aunts, and other relatives and friends of my patients may be unseasoned because their knowledge and skill are limited to what they read in the newspapers, hear in the radio and surf in the internet. These information may either be lacking or inaccurate so it is my job to be the seasoning like salt that adds flavor to a bland meal.

When the parents of my patients seek consult for an illness or wants new information on how to raise their children, may I provide them wisdom and knowledge through God, the Holy spirit, so that they may be gifted with a family who follow God's commandments.  I will attain this by applying the keys to a good physician.

 What are the  keys to a good physician? SALTP

S - SIMPLE LANGUAGE
A - ASK QUESTIONS
L - LISTEN CAREFULLY
T - TAKE TIME
P - PRAISE AND ADVISE

In talking to the parents, I will use SIMPLE LANGUAGE. If I am able, I will try to speak their
dialect so I can be better understood.

In trying to decipher what worries them or what ails their children, I will ASK checking QUESTIONS. I will get a complete history and do a thorough physical examination. In doing so, I have to make sure that my patient is comfortable and my parents aren't ill at ease.

Although I need to probe every detail to come up with a correct diagnosis, I will LISTEN CAREFULLY to the answers of the mother, father or any of the child's caregiver. Sometimes, what I seek is not the direct answer to my question but what lies hidden in their eyes and words.

Eventhough it means I have to spare a few more minutes, I will TAKE TIME to talk to the mother or
caretaker. I will not hurry off to the next patient when I haven't gotten all the information I need
so I can manage my patient well.

I will bring a smile and encouragement to my patient's parents and caretakers through PRAISE and
ADVISE them on things that matter, especially regarding family relationships and dynamics.

What are the different patient/parent education strategies that I can utilize so I can better serve
my patients and relatives?

One strategy is to inform the parents about the importance of  newborn screening and immunizations. Another strategy is demonstrate or show by illustrations the different steps to bathe a baby safely. A third strategy is to provide resources like hand-outs on simple home remedies for common ailments. It is also important to ask open-ended questions. In order to give new information, a practicing pediatrician should update oneself on latest evidenced-based evaluation and management of diseases or other ailments affecting the different age groups. Finally, it is part of a physician's task to seek family perspective and provide positive feedback on basic health care.


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