Getting Better One Patient at a Time
There’s so much to learn from patient care everyday. This encounter reminded me how much better we can be doing every single day.
Something interesting happened today which made me think about things a little differently. I was ultrasounding a patient’s hand and wrist, a new patient referred to me for various pains. One of the variables that is listed on the ultrasound machine is male or female. I have two ultrasound machines in the office, one that’s fairly new and another one that’s a few years older. An interesting thing that I noticed was that the only two designations that they have under genders are male and female, which you would traditionally expect. In this patient’s case he is transgender male. It’s interesting. I wouldn’t necessarily expect my ultrasound machine to have every single possible self identified gender designation, but it made me think about the field of medicine.
The practice of medicine is a very practical, humane science. You deal with people and their very real issues every single day. And yet we are always trying to catch up to what are the current social norms and issues of the day.
Frequently in our modern society, which is changing a lot faster than it has in centuries, we’re trying to play catch up a lot more than maybe we should be. This is one small example, but an example of where we can do better with patients. Maybe part of it is just recognizing it and saying, yeah maybe we could be better about this. But there’s a lot of those kind of occasions where I do sit back and think that this system could be better, more humane, and more respectful to people in general and certainly people with all of their differences and personalized needs.
As we go on as a society, the more that we can respect and recognize those kinds of differences, the better off we are serving people. And certainly the more personalized we can be when it comes to care, I think the better we are serving our individual patients as well.