By Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist
I was recently 'thanked' in a number of different ways and I thought I'd share it as one way did quite upset me.
Rheumatologists typically have long and good relationships with most of their patients, given that many of the diseases we care for are chronic and require regular treatment changes and monitoring.
It's relatively common to receive a token of gratitude from a patient. It's usually food in my case, a box of chocolate or some home-made sweets.
I don't have an issue with accepting these and I'm always very grateful that the person appreciates my effort and bothered to take the trouble. Our clinic staff will share and enjoy this gesture.
A couple of months ago, I received more of a "no- thank you". A patient presented demanding a treatment I felt was not indicated medically. While we were still discussing reasons, she jumped up from the chair and stormed out of the room complaining bitterly to staff and the other clinic patients. Not a good look. For her and for me.
Around that time, I received a note in the mail, accompanied by an autopsy report. An elderly patient had finally succumbed to her illness. The note was from her daughter, someone I had never met. It was a thank you note in appreciation for the care her mother had received by our BJC Health team. I was sad that this very pleasant lady had passed & I sent back condolences.
I will also share, even though it may seem a little selfish, that getting such a note is gratifying. It's always nice to get some thanks to balance the occasional unpleasantry.
Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health.
BJC Health provides a connected care multidisciplinary team philosophy to deliver positive lifestyle outcomes through a holistic approach to those with degenerative & inflammatory arthritis, tendon injury and lifestyle diseases. Our clinics are located in Parramatta, Chatswood and Brookvale. Contact us.
This blog focuses on arthritis-related diseases, healthcare in general, and our Connected Care philosophy.