Improving medical students

Archive for June 21st, 2007

How to be a Parent & a Doctor

Posted by medliorator on June 21, 2007

New Intern says that the conflicting emotions he sometimes experienced were a bit challenging. “I’d spend so much time away from my family and get upset when I felt I couldn’t keep up with either them or school. School and family were in direct competition for my time and attention.”

Foughtfyr… says that the only way to make having a family and a challenging health career work is to have a support network. “We had a GREAT daycare set-up. Our next door neighbor had a licensed daycare in her home. My wife worked a 9-5 job and took care of the baby after that,” he said.

SDN member Oldbearprofessor, dad to two teenagers, says he and his wife, not living near family, formed their own support network. “My wife, who has a doctoral degree, works from home primarily and our parents are not in town, so mostly we’ve relied on others for the usual things like house-cleaning and babysitting.”

Farmercyst said the hardest times were immediately after the birth of both children, and now finds himself wondering just how much pharmacy school will impact his family life. “My suggestion is, if you’re planning to have kids, planning the timing is very important.”

For Farmercyst, it has been beneficial during times of illness in the family. “I’ve been able to explain to my wife the different medical conditions that our family has had to deal with as well as why the doctors have suggested different methods to diagnose and treat the different problems.”

Oldbearprofessor, who has established himself as a neonatologist, is able to share some of the perks of working in medicine with his kids, along with a little perspective. “I do a significant amount of traveling relating to international medical work and usually am able to bring at least one child along, especially now that they are teenagers. For me, medicine has been a way of showing my children the world, including some very poor parts of it.”

And Oldbearprofessor, who now is raising teenagers, has reassuring words for all parents in the medical profession. “Absolutely nothing I’ve seen or done suggests that the balance between good parenting and a medical career is not doable if you are committed to this balance.”

Doctor Dad: Balancing Medicine and Family [Student Doctor Network]

Posted in Tips & Advice | 1 Comment »

Greet Patients Better

Posted by medliorator on June 21, 2007

Handshakes preferred

“With the initial greeting, you can tell whether your doctor is genuinely interested,” Bari says. “You notice that first impression.”

Bari may not be the only one who prefers a more personal approach from a physician, a new study suggests. The research is published in the latest issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

Gregory Makoul and his colleagues at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine surveyed more than 400 patients in 48 states… The authors reviewed 123 videotaped patient visits to see what the 19 doctors at two study sites actually did during an initial visit.

80 percent of the patients surveyed want to shake their doctor’s hand — and about half prefer that their physician use their first name during that initial encounter. “Doctors are told to greet patients appropriately, but we rarely tell them exactly what to do,” says Makoul. “The point of this study was to provide evidence to help doctors know what to do.”

the handshake may be even more important at the end of the visit. “I very much feel that a handshake after going over what we have agreed upon as a plan is like ‘making a deal,'”

Paging Dr. Friendly [ABC News – Health]

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