One of the more difficult aspects of writing is knowing what people are interested in reading about. Thirty seconds into a story about woodworking, or photography, or something else I find interesting, my wife’s eyes start to glaze over, her blood pressure drops, and her pulse becomes thready. Sometimes I finish a story right before I actually bore her to death (I keep a defibrillator close, just in case).
Even if someone is interested in having surgery, he or she may not be interested in the nuts and bolts of an operation (“this is the Van Von Ferectenstein clamp. I use this on right arm operations, but not on left arm cases. Unless it’s Wednesday. Then I use the Mendelssohn tissue transfer forcep…”). Some people are OK with talk of blood and guts, as long as eye surgery is not mentioned; others would have no problem doing any surgery themselves, as long as the surgery is not happening to them. For some, informed consent involves a thorough discussion of every instrument involved in the operation, and for others, its “You’re the doctor. Do what you have to do–I don’t wanna know.”
Everyone is different, and the great thing about being a physician is being able to meet and form relationships with so many different people. A good doctor is able to spot differences in patients; variations in mannerisms, comprehension, learning style; ways in which symptoms, pain, fear are expressed; priorities, goals, concerns. A great doctor is able to relate to patients in their differences. To express concepts in ways that make sense regardless of age, stage, or comprehension; to empathize regardless of whether you can sympathize; to work to understand what matters to a person, and deliver it.
At Gallatin Plastic Surgery, we like people. We value relationships. I am not interested in treating people like a commodity, or a number, or a means to an end. Give us a call, schedule an appointment, and see the difference.
Dr. Jarred McDaniel