Wednesday, January 30, 2008


One of the most difficult task a doctor must do is when he will declare a prognosis or a diagnosis to a patient, especially when the findings are terminal or in a chronic state. But the most difficult of all is when the patient is your relative; much worst… you’re immediate family.

So far, one thing I learned here in school is to be… a toughie. Your professors will show dissatisfaction on your work, criticizing every bits and turns that you do and your mentors will mock you. I know it’s a part of the training, to become a five star physician. But in terms with your family, how can you not show a bit of emotion? How can you say an outcome without making you feel that you’re not giving a verdict to a person you grew up with?

A very good example is Dr. Cristina Yang of Grey’s Anatomy. (I’m not really a fan but I watched some episodes) I remember she ruthlessly delivered to a family that the corpse of a man will be used as an organ donor. She mentioned every single organ in front of the wife and the 5 year old daughter like, how about the heart… the liver… kidneys… the skin… Astonishingly, she delivered that.

I was told that in those instances, I have to treat my family as my patient. And when that time comes, I know that I have to be the strong one. That I have to exude some hope and strength, because I know, that it will be the only thing my family will hold on to. As of now, I have to train myself...


coldman said...

good training will make you a good physician soon.

Way to go bro! =)


i know what u mean.. in here, nurses are a bit more independent from the doctors so more often, we do things that doctors should be doing (obviously that's after further trainings and considering ethics).

and that includes telling the patient's family of his/her diagnosis/prognosis.

not emotionally easy, but somebody has to do it.

cedeux said...

@kuya coldman - yes kuya! gagalingan ko! para sa karangalan
ng ating bayan! hehe
seryoso, kakayanin lahat lahat
kung gugustuhin!

@kuya kris - sana nga mapraktis ako
sa mga pasyente. pero sa family
mo tlaga parang mahirap.

FerBert said...

uh oh! ang hirap nga nyan..
kelangan mo na din ipatanggal ang puso mo tulad ko para hindi ka na mahirapan pagdating ng panahon.. *joke


icka said...

i was also taught that way... to treat my patients like my family so we could render the best care to them but in a professional manner.

ya your right. everybody has to be'll get used to it.

acey said...

i wish you the best in your med studies, man!

and i hope nothing will happen to those you love--nothing bad too soon... nothing too hard to do, just like what you just wrote about.

Anonymous said...

Hey ur a toughie kid, i know u'll be a good , i mean i of d best doctors we will have! :)

dak said...

i haven't encountered a doctor handling his/her own relatives especially the immediate family members. The consultant of the patient is usually the doctor's friend.

And I think the consultant is the one responsible in disclosing such issues to the patient and not the related doctor.

They said, a related doctor cannot handle the patient because he's related, hehehe, so there's this possibility of violating some rules, giving special treatments and becoming bias to the situation. besides, you cannot treat (think, work, etc) a patient well if you know you are treating a family member, eryt? it would be very hard. there are a lot of stress factors involved like emotions.

you are right about treating a family member as a patient. but it's not absolute.

Of course a related doctor should be there to support the patient as a family member, not limited by giving advices to the consultant and his team.

i practice detachment so as not to be attached and emotionally involved to the patients especially the ones i talk to more frequently because of history taking, PE and visits. they don't teach it in med school but so far it works for me.

cedeux said...

@ferbert - mahirap pero kelangan kayanin...

@icka - salamat sa pagdaan, i guess, for now, kelangan ko lng tatagan...

my-so-called-Quest said...

@acey - tnx po! un lagi
pnagdadasal ko. same with ur family, i hope and pray ur family will be in great condition as well.

@josh - kuya josh, tnx po! ingats ka plagi=]

my-so-called-Quest said...

@doc dak - salamat po sa advise.
but its gonna be hard for me detaching from the people whom you
dedicate the time and effort of studying for so long.

sana, it will be that easy... but practice in our career will help me to get through that... sana...