Speaking Of Viruses, I Got Sick Last Weekend...
Influenza is no joke. I unfortunately fell victim to this vicious virus a week ago. It started with an annoying dry cough. The next day, I had full-blown fevers with shaking chills and body aches for two days. Then I had a 10/10 dull headache with pressure over my eyes and light sensitivity for three whole days. I don’t suffer from migraines and this was honestly the worst headache of my life.
After forty-eight hours of 10/10 headache, I recognized that I needed help. I checked into Urgent Care. While I was waiting, I curbsided one of the Infectious Disease doctors. He advised me to start Oseltamivir immediately. (I had held off because my fevers and chills had resolved in two days.) He told me if I wasn’t better in two days, I might need a CT scan of my head and/or spinal tap. I relayed this information to the Urgent Care physician and she ordered Oseltamivir and, just in case I didn’t get better, Amoxicillin for possible sinusitis.
I see patients with colds and flu all the time. I order CT scans all the time. I order plenty of spinal taps.
Being on the receiving end of a medical assessment and plan completely alters a physician’s perception of being a healer.
Why is this relevant?
I am a female physician.
I see countless posts about what qualifying factor(s) make better doctors.
The reality is there is only one sole factor that makes the best doctor.
Yes, being a grandmother, mother, daughter, sister, wife, family member and friend affects how we understand patients and deliver care. I do not believe that any one category harnesses more empathy than another.
The person who has experienced true physical discomfort.
The person from whose cracked shell oozes a vulnerable yolk of illness.
The person who has had to navigate the maddening health system to ask for help.
In turn, makes the best physician.