It's almost here: Dr. Patient podcast. This idea has been brewing in the back of my mind for a couple of years, ever since I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September of 2020. That, combined with other health problems that I've had over recent years, put me squarely back into the role of a patient again. And, its a strange experience to be a patient when you're also a doctor. There are pros and cons, of course, the pros including speaking the language, knowing the system, feeling at home in medical situations, being empowered to speak up, sometimes getting some VIP treatment. The cons though, include what my husband likes to call "seeing too much of the chicken": knowing so much of the doctor side that it can get in the way of being a good patient. When someone in my house is sick, I know the 20 things that could be causing it, so sometimes I probably worry a bit too much about simple things. On the flip side, I also know that bad things are unlikely, so I also probably blow things off a little too much. It's tough to balance.
Also, playing the dual role makes me notice every tiny detail, good or bad. I notice how the waiting room chairs are too close to the front check in desk allowing everyone to hear a patient's personal information easily, I notice how uncomfortable the radiation table is and wonder why there isn't padding built into it, I notice how far the nurse went beyond his responsibilities to make my experience better. Things like that; the list is literally endless. And, over time I started thinking more and more about how most good and bad experiences the I've had really stem from my core relationship with my doctors - when they're strong and I feel trusting, good things emerge. When I barely know someone and feel blown off a bit, bad things come out of it.
This podcast will examine the doctor-patient relationship, tackling issues such as trust, communication, empathy, access, advocacy and much more.