Drew Storen is off to see Dr. James Andrews about his elbow. Never a good sign. But at least he won’t be hearing any gossip while he’s there. From the website of one of Dr. Andrews’s clinics, what strikes me a somewhat strange set of 9 elements that make up the doctor’s patient philosophy:
Dr. Andrews’ Patient Philosophy
The Andrews Institute and its team members strive to provide our patients the best health care services available. The following, written by Dr. James Andrews, serves as our code of conduct and our promise to our patients.
1. The patient is always right.
2. Make the patient feel he is treated properly by his previous physician.
3. Do not say anything about another physician or another person, for that matter.
4. Always be open-minded.
5. Listen to the patient.
6. Do not be the first person to make the BIG statement.
7. Attitude, responsibility, knowledge, desire, availability are always necessary to be successful.
8. One must always be able to “read a patient”.
9. Physician must be confident with his diagnosis and surgical skills. His confidence is reflected back and perceived by patient.
Some of this seems fine, if a bit aspirational. But #2 and #3 strike me as a bit strange. What if the previous doctor was wrong? What if he screwed up? Not to be silly about a list of nonsense on a website, but is Dr. Andrews saying he will protect other doctors rather than tell the truth to his patients? And as far as #6– he’s the doctor! Why can’t he make BIG statements, like, I don’t know, “YOU NEED ELBOW SURGERY.” Is he saying he will just sit there and wait for the patient to ask the right question before he’ll give the shocking, shocking answer?
“So… I’ve just looked at your elbow… and… yeah… so….”
“My last doctor–”
“No, no, we’re not going to talk about him.”
“He said everything was fine.”
“Okay. Hmmm… yeah… hmmm….”
“So I’m fine?”
“Hmmm… let’s see… hmmm….”
“If there’s something to tell me, please tell me!”
“Hmmm… interesting… yeah….”
“Okay, I guess I’ll get going now.”
“Maybe I’ll go see Dr. Altchek instead.”