Channel

Doctors who get it: 3 physicians who understand what patients really need

It is not often that you are rewarded so well for staying until the very last session at a conference. I know the storage capacity of my brain was almost full yesterday at 4:45 after five days of panels, interviews, demos and announcements. But, the energy, humor and brutal honesty of Dr. Victor Montori of […]

It is not often that you are rewarded so well for staying until the very last session at a conference. I know the storage capacity of my brain was almost full yesterday at 4:45 after five days of panels, interviews, demos and announcements.

But, the energy, humor and brutal honesty of Dr. Victor Montori of the Mayo Clinic was the perfect ending to ENGAGE. I’m not just saying that because MedCity News brought the crowd together in D.C. to talk about patients and the healthcare system.

People started asking questions at 5:20 and we had to cut them off at 5:40. People trailed Montori out the door and all the way to his cab.

He talked about the burden that the healthcare industrial complex (my words, not his) puts on patients and about how the system is about getting bigger, not helping people get better and stay healthy.

Montori was the third of three amazing doctors who really understand the meaning of the word caregiver and who don’t mind being called that. I’ve picked my favorite snippets here; you’ll have to watch the videos to get all the good stuff. If your hospital’s doctors need help relating to patients, or if your practice is dealing with a bad review online, or if you are worried about patient satisfaction scores, pick one of these interviews and watch it. I promise it will be time well spent.

Dr. Adrienne Boissey of the Cleveland Clinic said that she knows people don’t really want her services. She knows that doctors often can’t solve patient problems and confessed to relief when a patient said that at the start of a consultation. The patient had been living with headaches for three years and doctors had tried everything to help her, with no results. She went on to tell a story of how simply talking with the woman about her life — instead of focusing on pain scales — led her to the real problem.

During the same conversation, I mentioned that I had had a miscarriage and my doctor wasn’t able to help me. Boissey said, “I’m sorry.” My miscarriage happened six years ago, but that was exactly the right thing to say, even now. I was grateful she recognized the sadness of the situation and took even a moment to comfort me.

During a session on how doctor and patient relationships are changing, Dr. Ivor Horn said the words that so many patients want to hear, “I want you to challenge me because that means you are engaged in your healthcare.” One of her fellow panelists said, “I don’t know about the rest of you but I want Dr. Horn to be my kid’s pediatrician.”