Terry is a particularly difficult patient. She is not hard because of her cancer, which is in remission, nor is there a problem with pain, of which she has little, and Terry is not particularly demanding for the nursing staff. No the real problem, the challenge, the thing that makes her so difficult is that Terry is married. Terry is married to Dr. P and he is a particularly difficult man.
Terry’s husband loves Terry very much. He wants her to have the very best care. Dr. P makes certain that all the doctors know everything that is going on, all the time; he makes sure the nurses are on top of every detail; he demands the best from the all the hospital staff. In fact, Dr. P works so hard to control Terry’s care, to stay on top of her case, to monitor every moment, it is nearly impossible to take care of Terry.
There are many challenges for doctors taking care of other doctors or their families, or, in reverse, there are many challenges for doctors when they seek care for themselves and their families. The result of this conflict is often inferior medical care. Therefore, wanting to honor and help doctors get good quality treatment let us take a moment to review the doctor verses doctor verses medical system dilemma.
First, it is hard for doctors to decide where to go for medical care. If you stay in the same community where you practice you lose some privacy and perhaps even respect in the physician community. Who do you chose and how do you avoid offending the other physicians you do not use? If you leave your own area, you lose the convenience and familiarity of getting care close to home.