Well, I didn’t know. It’s a nice thought, however, to let your doctor know what he/she means to you and how he/she helps you stay healthy. And imagine they do that plagued by Industrialized healthcare, 15 minute office visits, electronic record keep requirements, and working for institutions that value tests and procedures over, in the words of Sir William Osler:
“The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.”
Osler, who lived from 1849 to 1918, is often named as the father of modern medicine. He was a stellar diagnostician, created the first residency program for training physicians and brought medical students out of the lecture hall to the bedside for clinical training. He wrote several books and had huge influence in bringing humanity to medicine.
But I digress. Doctors’ Day is celebrated around the world to recognize the contribution to communities and individuals that physicians make. It was first celebrated in the U.S. in 1933, when Eudora Brown Almond, married to a physician, thought there should be a day to honor physicians. Flowers were placed on the graves of doctors that had passed away.
If you have a health professional you’d like to thank for their service, why not do so today? I’m going to send my endo a note of appreciation (yes, through our MyChart portal). Our first meeting was 90 minutes long and we only talked about diabetes in the last half hour. Five years since, our visits are typically 30 minutes and we always start by his asking me how I am in general. He has helped me titrate a new insulin over the weekend, he treats me with respect, as an equal. and is always open to learning from me.
I also advocate leaving a doctor when you don’t feel you have any rapport. Two decades ago I fired my endo after he didn’t return my call after I left four messages trying to find out the results of a test that he had told me was significant.
I hope your health team are worthy of your time, and if so your appreciation.