Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Why I Always Knock

It was a time before EMR's. A time before healthcare reform. And I was a new physician. In a new practice. Wet under the collar and trying to build my own own style.

So I broke tradition. I went against the grain. I separated myself from all the other physicians.

It was a big step......

I implored the medical assistants to please keep my physicals clothed so I could interview before the patient was forced into one of our oh so flattering gowns.

But Dr. V doesn't do it that way. Dr. B doesn't do it that way. They chided. Dr. G already making waves in the new practice.

But that was me....making my mark. Changing procedures and saving lives.

And they said they would follow my directions. Sure they sniggerd in the corner....but I was the doctor....the boss. They listened to my preferences and acted according.

I remember that first week in practice so well. Every patient was a learning experiance. Every encounter refreshing and new.

And my first physical. A young woman in her twenties. I burst into the room with hand extended ready to greet my new patient.

She stood still like a deer in headlights. Completely naked with her gown outstretched in one hand. Our eyes met and we both blushed....and then she held the gown in front of her body and crouched to cover as much flesh as possible.

I mumbled a quick apology and backed out the door. The medical assistants standing at the end of the hallway saw my rapid exit and began to laugh even though they didn't even know what happened.

They would eventually.

And they would never forgot to room my patients clothed again....

And to this day when faced with a closed exam room door...

I knock....


And then enter.


WarmSocks said...

I bet your patients like it that way.

I've had two doctors who I met the first time in their office, not an exam room. In both cases, the doctor sat at his desk with my new chart. We talked, got to know one another a little bit, then I was shown to an exam room. It's a great way to meet as people.

Alarie said...

My physician, a woman much older than you (my age),
has talked to her patients in clothes for years. It makes such a big difference in feeling that I'm a respected human being, not just a diagnosis. It also
gives me more confidence to ask questions. I'm hoping that medical schools are starting to teach better bedside manner. Thank you for treating patients with dignity. The fine doctor you are comes through in your poetry, too.