Thursday, December 2, 2010


I walked around the unit the other nigth and paid attention to the look of anxiety on some of the parents faces.  I'd stop and chat with them and listen to their concerns.  More than one parent was anxiously awaiting some sort of test result on their baby.  Being the end of Thanksgiving weekend the wait was slightly longer than average as routine tests and procedures don't usually happen over the holidays.

I feel for these parents waiting anxiously.  One dad in particular was so frustrated.  I know that the info he is waiting for isn't going to change anything in our treatment of his baby, but I still understand the anxt.  I made one of the only promises I ever make to parents to him.  "As soon as I know, you'll know."  There are only 3 promises I ever make to the parents of my patients and that is one of them.

It has always been something that has been important to me.  This sharing of information, or results as soon as I know them.  I strongly believe that as physicians we must be in partnership with our patients and their families.  It is their baby who's care is entrusted to us; thererfore, they must be given information as soon as possible after it becomes available.  We must help them to make informed decisions when those decisions come up.

As a patient, I understand that waiting game.  I am waiting right now.  I should hear soon about what the plan is for my surgeries.  A few weeks ago, I was waiting for the phone to ring to give me my results. I hate waiting.   Still, I feel a combination of wanting to know and a little fear at the answer.  Somehow it has been easier to deal with since I knew for sure that I have a recurrence.  Reality is so much easier than fantasy or fear.

So, I wait....  I hope that my time on this side of the doctor-patient relationship will continue to make me a better physician in the future, that I will conitnue to grow through my experience.  That would be a good thing!


JaxMom said...

Thinking pf and praying for your my friend. Hang in there and know we are there with you in spirit, if not in body.

Mama Kat said...

So as a mom to a PICU baby(she was only a week old when addmited, so really neonate)what are those 3 promises...Just curious.

Dr. Lisa said...

The three promises are:
1- As soon as possible after i have information related to your baby, you will have it
2- I will do everything in my power to keep the baby comfortable and pain free
3- I will always be honest abotu your baby's condition and prognosis.

They are simple promises, but they are the only ones that I can make.