Doctor Knows (Could Fill Life’s Waiting Room)
Excerpt from the book,
"In the previous
pages, I’ve tried to share some of the most meaningful
knowledge I’ve gleaned from thirty-five years of medical
practice. Key among these insights is that patients are human
beings with thoughts, feelings, hopes, and fears. They are
obviously vulnerable when they come to a doctor with potential
symptoms of a life-threatening illness such as cancer or heart
disease. But there is more often simply a sense of helplessness
at the realization that they are not in control of their circumstances,
that they must rely on someone else to cure them. And this
experience cuts across age, race, economic, and social status.
They could be a mover and shaker of our society; a mega-successful
businessman, a movie star, a politician, whatever. But in
their doctor’s office or in the hospital, they are just
Mr. or Mrs. Whomever in room 719.
It is at once humbling and extremely frightening.
Another key insight,
one I want you to take away above all else, is that doctors
are human too. I say this not to let my fellow colleagues
off the hook, but to protect you, the patient, from the mistakes
that can be made when you believe your doctor is infallible
— or, worse, when your doctor believes he is! The fact
is that doctors come to this partnership carrying their own
baggage (sometimes an entire monogrammed set of Samsonite).
And it is ultimately up to you, the patient, to determine
if they’re qualified and competent to help you. Are
they knowledgeable, or caring enough? Will they stay on top
of your case? Do they create a safe environment where you
feel comfortable sharing your deepest thoughts and concerns?
Will they protect you, as the captain of the medical ship,
from the often rough seas of the hospital environment?
In this complex
mix of patients’ needs and fears, as well as
those of physicians, there has to be a way for both to unite
positively. And that, finally, is the true aim of this book:
to begin a dialogue that will help you and your doctor create
a powerful partnership for achieving optimal health. Your
physician must be able to hear you, understand you, and use
all of your cues to come up with a fitting and effective diagnosis
and a treatment plan. But you, the patient, are not along
for a free ride. As it is the physician’s role to cure,
it is the modern patient’s role to be an active participant.
You are empowered to protect yourself and always be on the
alert for mistakes. But you must be on a quest to know all
there is to know about your illness and your options. You
are not a passenger, but the co-pilot, along with your doctor,
on this flight toward total well being. It’s not always
a smooth ride; there will likely be some choppy weather and
turbulence, you may even get off the flight plan at times
But a long as you
and your doctor continue to navigate together, you
will make the necessary course corrections to keep you on
track toward your destination and hopefully and happily glide
you to that safe landing of true and lasting health."
In From Anecdote
to Antidote Dr. Klein
shares his favorite stories from thirty years in the medical
profession. The stories fall into one of three categories:
Throughout, he communicates the lessons learned along the
way. As you read along, you will find the stories tend to
lend themselves to the general themes, but by the same token
maintain a universality.
"When you’re done with the book
I hope you will agree with me that they all fall under that
universal condition we call life. For what is a doctor if
not a saver — a reminder — of human life?"
Richard S. Klein, M.D.