MEDICAL ANECDOTAL REPORT
Indexing Title: DMCRUZ’S MAR [15-08]
MAR Title: Filipino Quality Health Care Knows No Cultural Differences
Date of Medical Observation: August 2015
Tag: Developing observational skills in defying cultural differences in giving quality health care to our patients
Category: Professional/ Ethical – Reinforcement
It was seemingly another ordinary Monday morning at the Surgery ward when I was with my team doing our early morning rounds after the endorsement. Nearing to our last patient, suddenly a loud voice ringed at the back of my ear, “annyeong haseyo!” (“hello”) uttered by one of my co-resident. I almost forgot, we had this Korean national patient admitted during our last Saturday duty. His name was Park Tae Joo, a 47/M Korean national who was admitted due to a Carbuncle located at the level of T6-T10 area, paravertebral area, right and underwent wound debridement by one of my seniors. And upon doing the wound care, to my surprise, the patient grabbed my hand and held it like we have known each other. Despite the awkwardness of holding his hand while undergoing the post-operative care, I could feel, on the other hand, his agony from the reactions on his face every time the solution was pour into the wound. Instantaneously, his eyes started to shed tears on his face and even without looking at him, I could feel his utmost suffering because he would squeeze my hand in return. Believe it or not, I am beginning to question why on earth this foreign national, who looks can afford a private hospital and simply alleviate this suffering. But who am I to judge this choice and question his decision? Without any caution, as a slip of my tounge, I uttered “Uppa” (“Dad”). To his surprise, a sound of familiar phrase gave him a smile. Noticing this reaction, I immediately thought of another Korean word that I have knew . From “uppa”, I remembered saying also “Umma” (“mom”), “bangap sumnida” (“glad that I met you”), “kansamida” (“ thank You”). Few words and phrases that I had the chance to familiarize myself from watching Meteor Garden, Full House, Jumong and Jewel in the Palace. Recognizing the fact that I was a part of that Korean madness throughout the years, these familiar words brought somehow relief to his sufferings while he was admitted. The patient was eventually discharged satisfied and when he was about to leave the room, he bowed his head to me and hold my hand and repeatedly saying “Saramat, saramat” (“thank You, thank You”) and promised to come back for his follow up
(Physical, Psychosocial, Professional/ Ethical)
(Discovery, Stimulus, Reinforcement)
Our effort to understand and acknowledge the care needed by our patients, individually, reduces barriers and enhances effectiveness of the services we are rendering. An integral part of this ability to recognize and isolate specific needs of our patients are inculcated in our values not only as a surgeon but as a person as a whole. These said values are the results of everyday experiences that we had developed throughout this life, whether good or bad, and determine who we really are; how we think, how we feel and how will each and every one of us behave in respect to ourselves and towards others. Even in our training in this prestigious Department, we were able to develop skills and become aware of the accentuation of these said values. But these said values have cultural determinants and are greatly influenced by our owns religious beliefs and life’s personal experiences. When caring for people who are not of the same ethnic/cultural background as ourselves, we should take into account and be sensitive of the values inherent also to our patients. We should also be aware that some of the values that are important to explore are of those that concerns our dignity, trust, and respect. Cultures may vary in their philosophical worldviews that shape their own visions and perspective in actions that separate each civilizations but caring for a sick patient poses professional cultures that are no different.
Filipinos are well known world-wide for their compassion and their accurate observations in delivering quality health care to their patients mainly because Filipino health care professionals are equipped with specific responsibility and expertise to reinforce the philosophy of individualized patient care.
ROJoson’s Notes (17jan14):
With globalization, physicians should learn how to treat patients of different nationality and cultural background holistically,.professionally and compassionately – using the same values and principles they treat their compatriots.