Many people have rightfully developed a negative view of today's medical "industry;" not so much so of the individual people who work there (doctors, nurses, etc.) but of the overall atmosphere surrounding modern medical care. And this view is understandable, from the cattle-call nature of large clinics, impersonal treatment in person and on the phone, unnecessary difficulty in communicating, etc. No small factor is the increasing charges of these services, usually just because they can.
Add in the general climate of negativity in the country these days, and it is not surprising that folks are not usually looking forward to dealing with big institutions, especially Big Medicine. And no matter how hard we try here to be "different," meaning small and personal, it is inevitable that some of that negativity is reflected on us just because we are in the field, deserved or not, fair or not.
We aren't immune, either. Fighting insurance companies for needed treatment or tests is an increasing problem, requiring too much of our time and energy. Simple things that seem to go wrong, such as prescription or billing problems, are blamed on us because it is easier to do that than actually fix it, and we are the easiest to contact. So, some days it gets to us...
So it was good timing when, the other day I received a thank-you card from a patient resulting from her recent sick visit. Honestly, I could not even recall why she was here until I later looked back. But the plain, simple thanks for taking care of her that day struck me, even more so since it was "just" one of many visits that week and nothing really out-of-the-ordinary, at least for us. But apparently it was for her. Sure, we get cards sometimes....and cakes, and eggs, and garden vegetables, and so forth. But the timing of this reminder (and that is what it was, really) was special, and motivating to fight on for our patients, and for doing it the right way.
Thank you, back.