Before becoming a doctor, I must remember the four goals of medicine in this time.
According to The Goals of Medicine: Setting New Priorities by The Hastings Center, these are:
- The prevention of disease and injury and the promotion and maintenance of health: trying to avoid all that which may be avoided with simple actions such as washing hands, eating healthy food, having safe sex, etc. etc. etc. because a disease may difficult a lifestyle and separate people from their goals and purposes.
- The relief of pain and suffering caused by maladies: it is necessary to differentiate between pain and suffering, considering that the former may be a hard thing to face, but suffering is not always understandable or visible to all.
- The care and cure of those with a malady, and the care of those who cannot be cured: it is obvious, reaching a certain diagnostic and proposing the treatment. Those ones that cannot be cured (e.g. due to a chronicle disease) also need some way for maintaining their life.
- The avoidance of premature death and the pursuit of a peaceful death: all of us will pass away and it will come a time in which all care on this world will be insufficient, and we must accept it. But, it is our work to ensure that people will continue living and having the opportunity to enjoy the best of this time and this life.
In addition to these things, I must also keep in mind how do patients feel. It may not be glamorous if some strange will upload a photo of their wounds or their abdominal stitch procedures without any express consent.
Patients have a real life and a great matter in their minds when possibility of hospitalization exists for someone of them. I think they do not need our complex arguments nor a useless statement about symptoms and lab tests, but to be understood and healed.
It is time for talking with patients, not about rare and useless things, nor starting with medical issues, but about lifestyle, about dreams and hope, or another real thing.
What is medicine for me, right now?
Time for considering the patient-doctor relationship almost romantically (in an idealistic way, I mean) went out. Time for finding many concerns in the training program and in our relationship with patients as alumni of a doctor—that time went out. I have believed that those physicians do not take many care of their patients beyond the biomedical issues. It might be true.
But what can I do? Being angry and anxious did not help, so I have missed many years of acquiring knowledge about how to help patients rehearsing a diagnosis and a clinical examination, learning about treatments and about how to treat people. Patients will trust in someone confident and, of course, skilled.
After difficult times, what can I say about medicine?
It may be that I do not believe in those words I have wrote some months ago?
It may be best if first I spend time experiencing it.
Furthermore, despite the need of scientific and technical skills, the range of situations I might expect is very wide and even the most important hospital in this city may be shorter than the variety found in specialized illustrated books, medical series and a lot of health centers in this region I may have access.
I was lost… but now I am back! (?)
Diario del 23 de agosto de 2015, corregido y adaptado para su publicación. No he querido enlazarlo en el texto, pero «las palabras que escribí hace unos meses» son las de este artículo.
Cita este artículo (NLM) como:
Vera-Palomino E. Medicine time is around the corner [Internet]. Ica (Perú): Mirimiri; 2020 ago 31 [actualizado 2021 jun 19, citado 2021 jul 21]. Disponible en: https://mirimiri.xyz/medicine-time-is-around-the-corner/.