PCORACION’S MAR [15-06]:First Impressions Last

Medical Anecdotal Report
Indexing Title: PCORACION’S MAR [15-06]
Title: First Impressions Last
Date of Observation:  July 2015
Tag: Good physician-patient rapport and quality service can last a long time
Category: Professional/Ethical – Reinforcement
            I received a phone call from a relative of my previous patient. I did an open cholecystectomy for hydrops of the gallbladder to his wife a year ago. He told me that his mother-in-law was diagnosed with calculus of the gallbladder and needed to be operated on. He asked me to be his in-law’s surgeon because he wanted her to receive the same care he’d seen his wife was given. I was glad to hear that my service, though a year ago, was good enough to be appreciated and remembered. I told him to bring his mother-in-law to the hospital for consultation. I wanted to interview her and examine her. He agreed. The following day, I met with them. The patient apparently have had episodic right upper quadrant pain for years but it was only about 2 months ago that she had a severe attack. She was outside the country when it happened. She showed me an abstract. It stated that a MRCP (magnetic retrograde cholangiopancreatograph) was done which revealed calculus of the gallbladder. She then underwent an emergency tube cholecystostomy. No details of the imaging was attached. I told her that a new imaging should be done to map out the biliary tree and identify the stone. She said she wanted to have the operation right away because she needed to go back to work abroad. I said that the imaging is very important to plan for right procedure. She agreed. Two days after the consultation, the son-in-law texted me to inform me that his in-law had sought consult elsewhere. He was deeply sorry for the turn of events and added that if he had his way, he wanted his in-law to have me as her surgeon. I told him that no apology was needed. He thanked me.
(Physical, Psychosocial, Professional/Ethical)
(Discovery, Stimulus, Reinforcement)
            It is without a doubt that what makes the Surgery training program of Ospital ng Maynila unique, is its dedication in a holistic approach in creating competent and compassionate surgeons.
            To be one means that skills proficiency and knowledge go hand-in-hand with kindness. Mastery of one alone cannot make you a great surgeon. Combining it can lead to good physician-patient rapport and having such will go a long way. A patient whom you have treated coldly may not come back to you for further consults even though you have rendered quality service. For them, you’re just another doctor doing what needs to be done. Your ill-manner will be the most striking thing that they will remember about you and this can lead to a bad reputation. You can lose patients or referrals because of this. That is why quality service puts emphasis on giving ‘customer delight and promoting satisfaction’.
            A patient is not just ‘the disease’ or a case to be studied and solved. A patient is a person whose health has been compromised and needs a doctor’s utmost care and attention. Building rapport will not only create a harmonious working relationship between the physician and patient but it can lay the groundwork for networking for future patients. Rendering good patient care will be remembered by your patients and they will be grateful for it. They will seek your services again because they know they are in good hands.  
ROJoson’s Notes (16jan20):
This is the powerpoint template that is being used by the Department of Surgery of Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center in its Tuesday and Thursday conferences since 2011.  It has a tagline that reads: Towards Patient Safety in Surgery. Promote customer delight.  Avoid complaints at all times.   The template with the tagline is a constant reminder for the surgical residents to be holistic, professional and compassionate.
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