Rainbow Identifiers Among Healthcare Providers. Is it necessary?

I susbcribe to medical articles online and I recently read a Medscape article by a medical student regarding disclosing a health professional's sexual identity to gain trust & rapport to patients.

The author said, "I personally would prefer an out and proud lesbian with a rainbow identifier rather than someone with plain scrubs. At least I know the lesbian nurse is willing to let me know something about herself that I can relate to. Does this mean she's a competent nurse? No. But does it mean she's not competent? No." - Carl Streed Jr.

In my opinion, sexual identity among health professionals should be kept exclusive but undeniably. Our personal lives should have minimal or even have no place in the medical setting. That is to keep most personal matters outside the clinic, to control emotions, and to focus on the patient in front of us. When emotions is combined with medical decisions, it would be a havoc. It wouldn't do any good to the improvement of the patient's condition. Same is true why doctors aren't suppose to or advised not to treat close relatives because conflict ensues come medical decisions and options.

But come to think about it, when patients are in the hospital, in a place that is sterile, disconnected, and intimidating, it's easy to see patients cherish anything that allows them to relate to their caregivers and vice versa. There goes the difference and awareness between the terms transference and counter-transference. Healthcare providers may probably extend their personal lives to a certain extent to make patients somehow connected to his/her caregivers. But doctors and nurses should put boundaries or limit this as to not develop the "counter-transference" which may eventually lead to bias that affects the giving of medical options and care. Like I said, personal lives should have minimal place in medical setting.

I also agree to Carl Streed's statement that "Patients just want to connect. Providers just want to connect. To deny such an opportunity misses a large part of the healing process that occurs in medical settings."

I need patients to trust me and be very comfortable with me. In healthcare, we don't mean business. Patients are not clients. I was trained to treat patients wholistically because one defect no matter what aspect (physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic, etc.) can affect one more thing or the rest; a depressed patient may not recover from a simple cough.

In conclusion, caregiver-patient relationship is somewhat like a contract. Trust, connection, communication are very important. Sexuality may not be an issue to some but for others, it may still be. In my honest opinion, it still holds true to keep or limit personal matters outside the premises of the clinic room. Disclose personal issues if it can help a patient but one should know the boundaries.

*posted via Blogger app for iOS.

James Of QC

I got this new TV series that I’m watching aside from the everybody-knoes-I’m-watching-Greys. It’s entitled Hart Of Dixie. Initially, I was hesitant to start watching it because I dowana spend too much time on TV but since a friend suggested it and said that I can super relate to the story and so I began.

And I am hoooooked! It’s the series of my life <of course except that Hart is a hot, female surgeon>

hart-of-dixie

The story revolves around Zoey Hart who is a doctor. After her graduation in med school, an old man offered her a job in Alabama as a General Practitioner (GP) but turned it down because she got major plans. She went to a surgical residency program in New York City and planned to take her Cardio-Thoracic fellowship following the footsteps of her “dad”. But her dreams fell apart after her boyfriend dumped her and she wasn’t accepted to take the fellowship program because a mentor said she lacks “patient-care”. She was then advised to have her own practice first. This made her remember a job offer yesteryears which made her decide to move to Alabama to have her own private practice. There she discovers the deeper meaning of practice of medicine, love and friendship.

Just like Dr Hart, I am hardcore. I may not have graduated as one of the top players in my class but yes I am hardcore in my very own rights. Haha.

Even before graduating in med school, I have my own big plans too! I underwent internship program in a prestigious hospital, acquired a desirable mark in my board rating, and scouted for hospitals that will give me the best Internal Medicine residency training compatible to my personality.

To be totally honest, I already put my mind set into 2 hospitals of my choice. Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and National Kidney & Transplant Institute (NKTI). I even got my NKTI application already before I even take the boards! I was that dedicated.

NKTI: “We usually accept applicants on September after the boards, but anyway here’s your application form.”

Although, right after taking the boards my parents talked to me about the option of taking my residency training in the US. I was like, “Whut???”

I know, right?

First of all, it’s a privilege to receive such offer especially from parents to take the residency training somewhere else. If med school in the Philippines is a financial burden, to go into training abroad is considered a possible bankruptcy.

Second, I love my life in here. I am not complaining. I have several reasons why I love it in here. Basics: practical and easy.

Third, practice of medicine is a loooot easier here compared to a foreign land especially the US where lawsuits and medical insurances are popular.

I told “the ‘rents” about the option of taking my residency here instead then fellowship training somewhere else after. Cos if I want to train abroad, I still want to go back and do my private practice in here. And to establish a firm foundation of my name as a doctor in here, least I can do is to do my residency training in here first. So much “HERE” in this paragraph, but yes that’s how I can simply put things in HERE. LOL.

The problem with that is, training outside the country requires me and actually every single doctor out there who plans to train abroad to take their country’s medical boards equivalent. Not, unless I train in Brasil where our medical boards is fully accepted. And I dowana do that (medical boards again?!?!) after my residency training cos twud be a lot harder for me to dig basic medical knowledge at that time.

So I weighed the pros and cons.

A lot of people know especially the people I’m very close with that I am the kind of person who doesn’t settle. I don’t want to say it’s my principle even before Steve Jobs made it popular but I just don’t. Really. Settle? No.

I accepted my parents’ offer because it will do me good in my profession. For sure & I know that I’ll transcend even better. And I am confident that the attachment and love that I have in this country will always be the same. And that I can just go back and help whenever I want.

I am also the kind of person who embraces change. I am hungry for medical breakthroughs. And it doesn’t happen in our country years after it’s already obsolete to some. I want change, to a lot of things. For the betterment of everything.

And while I am still young, why not live it to the fullest!? Travel <which I really miss and love>, explore, be in a different place and taking chances.

I also don’t want to be stuck in a rut. I’m not boring, right?

So there, just like Dr Hart I am setting aside my dreams to give way for my even better fantasies. And before pulling myself out of this country <which is anytime soon>, I am currently practicing as a GP trying my best to give to our countrymen the knowledge and skills that I have and to learn and enhance more from the patients the compassion which has been inside of me all along.

Anyway going back to the medical drama series topic of this blog entry, Dr Hart is deviant. People don’t trust her as a doctor because she’s too pretty to be one and by the way she dresses herself to the clinic or in the public which I can so much relate cos people still think that a doctor should be always prim and proper. No, no. Think again people. Don’t judge a book by its cover orrr by its movie version. Haha. I once encountered a patient who thought I was just 18! Well, I don’t know if twas a compliment but I found it a little sneaky way of saying I’m too young to be treating her.

In the first 4 episodes of this series, Dr Hart met a lawyer which made it more interesting cos I am also fascinated with lawyers. I need someone who will defend me just in case I get a lawsuit. haha. Kidding!

Ok, this post is too long already I bet it’s getting boring. Adios!

Respite. & Recharge.

You may have all the libido to fuel you up… But even minerals get depleted, restored, supplemented.

Have an intermission to your reality. Refill your energy. Do nothing.

IMG_1162

It's fun to sometimes get lose and to pretend. To get crazy. Daydream. Enjoy the scent of a flower. Hangout with friends to believe in. Stare at the falling leaves that drift by the window.

Sleep. Eat. Laugh. Breathe.

Even the sun comes down. So why can’t you?

Pause for a while. Relax.

My Tote-ful Stories

Why, when & where do I use my totes?

The story about my fascination with tote bags started when I was still reviewing for the board exams. These tote bags are most of the time labeled by fashion critics as not really fashionable at all. Well, that statement is half-true.

They usually don’t look good to a certain extent. Cos they’re not suppose to be used when one is formally and elegantly garbed. But these bags that I am talking about are very useful to people who are always on the go. They look good and are precious during casual events and everyday pointA-to-pointB activities. They’re very spacious and durable. Besides, tote means “to carry”. So carry all the way with your tote! :-)

During my preparation for an exam, I have these tiny satchel-fit books/reviewers that most of the time contain summaries of what I learned in med school. But relying on these reviewers alone is not a very smart idea… at least for me. I still hafto bring with me several huge & heavy books because instances happen that recalling specific subject matters just don’t occur in a snap. These huge books then serve as my references. That’s the time when I have to depend on these tote bags to contain all of my heavy Bibles. :-))

IMG_1189

It’s a lie if I say as physicians, we don’t get gifts from pharmaceutical companies. It’s a given & a relatable fact that we receive small freebies from drug companies like pens, stationaries, bags and what have yous. The most popular and in demand are these huge tote bags. They actually all look the same… boring and square but picking the right color reflects one’s personality. We usually use them to pack our sundries when we go on duty. But personally, I don’t. I use duffel to go on duty. I prefer to be different. :-P

Hint: These bags also reflect the owner’s specialization. How? Check on the generic/brand name labeled on these bags. <e.g. A physician handling a bag labeled with amlodipine branded as Norvasc may be considered a Cardiologist. A bag with azithromycin branded as Zithromax on it is probably owned by an Infectious Disease Specialist. A sildenafil AKA Viagra bag is most likely a bag of an ED specialist. :-))>

IMG_1188

I also bring totes to the groceries. You know why? You know why? Cos I was once asked to pay for each of the plastic bags to contain all my grocery items. I know right? It started when SM Supermarket initiated their GreenBag Advocacy. So in order to reduce the use of plastic bag in shopping, they implemented a specific day when shoppers have to pay for the plastic bags used unless they bring recyclable bags/totes to contain their items.

I think it is a smart idea by the SM to have an eco-friendly advocacy.

How about you? Do you have a tote story?

RIP Steve Jobs

The genius who changed the image of an apple. An apple that used to be just a fruit but now sparkly gadgets each of us own.

Thanks for the creativity Mr. Steve Jobs! You are one of the persons I know who is truly unselfish, hopeful, an intelligent person who isn't afraid of change and always carry a positive outlook in life. You are an inspiration to many. iSad.

This blog entry was posted via Blogger for iPhone. :-)


Let’s All Embrace…

Change & Aging.

They’re the only permanent things.

Photo Oct 03, 9 16 13 AM

Just a timely reminder. If you're always battling against getting older, you're always going to be unhappy, because it will happen anyhow. It’s one of the most beautiful things. Grey hair. Skin lined with hardship. Tiny steps to remind us that we finally have to slow down. :-)

Quoting Mitch Albom in his Tuesdays With Morrie,

"Aging is not just decay... It's growth."