As medical professional, the preciousness of life make some of our patients extremely grateful to us. But is it our preference to have such feeling and reaction. Or is it the absence of such action make us uncomfortable or dissatisfied. From the patient point of view, will our action of grafeful feedback secure better follow up service?
I recently read about the ICU dying patient news about recieving a generous cavdever organ donation. The news state that as an emotional reaction, the heart surgeon shed his or her tears saying that the patient should treasure this timely gift of life. I usually feel uneasy about that emotional side of providing medical treatment. But the meaning of doctors act should however touches heart of most patient and people.
For doctor either recieving pay from public money or from paying patient 's pocket, they are suitably remunmerated with proportionally correct sum. The doctor has the de facto responsibility to carry out a good and technically right work. Compliment to doctor success is thus an extra. Having said that, doctors usually appreciate very much the thankfullness of their patient. Sometime these are driving force for doctors altruism.
Once I have the experience of being touched by my patient's word. He is a gentlemen and always thanks me for whatever procedure or treatment I provide him. Once I talked casually to him. Do not be too courteous , you know you have paid me for my professional service. I owe you the trust. He responded calmly. Dr Chung, I know I have paid all the professional fee related to my treatment and I knowed I am entitled to high standard care. But regarding your service and careful adminstration of care, I still owe you a words of thank because of trueworthiness of your work. Our care and attention if acted from our heart are much valued by our patient.
Occasionally as private specialist, the care of long term disease bring much concern to financial burden. So some of my patients will not return for follow up. This is reasonable as chronic disease can bear the burden of waiting list and these conditions can best be dealt with in public sectors. Anyway, I would not anticipate that all patient will be my faithful followers for life. Sometimes, I heard complimentary words about my service but later default in follow up. I find it perplexing to understand. But In the real world, this is not uncommon.
In essence, I do feel good on the recieving end of thank and gratefullness. But do not take it too serious as your driving force. Some patients and most indeed has the concern of financial constraint. They are entitled to develop way to secure best mode of care to them. So they would swarm between private and public care depending what fit them most. However, I do feel satisfied after tough surgery or long operation, the patient or patient's relative say from their heart: You have done a great job. You have done a favour to them.
Surgeon with a heart: I am Dr Chung Shiu Shek specialist in Cardiothoracic Surgery, Clinic phone no: 3160 8865