I had one of those opportunities to see the other side of the coin, so to speak, last weekend when I volunteered to help at a Reiki booth. It was at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Medicine’s Annual Pain Management & Spine Symposium. Basically it was a symposium for pain management doctors in a variety of specialties.
When I wasn’t giving mini Reiki sessions in the exhibitor area I slipped into the back of the room and listened to some of the presentations. I’m pretty well educated and savvy but many of these presentations were completely over my head. I’d slip back out dazed by the foreign language I thought was being spoken but was apparently English in ‘doctors speak’.
However, some of the issues these doctors talked about I understood.
One of the big ones is the lack of time to do what they love to do, be a doctor. They have to spend so much time managing the administration of their jobs that it eats away at their real love. Not only that, they have to fill out reams of paperwork for the government just to get paid the small fees for treatments given. Then they wait months to actually get that money in hand. In contrast, the taxi driver who brought the patient gets paid cash immediately.
Then there are the patients who come to them, fully insured, but really looking for a way to stay off work and demanding the doctor provide it. As opposed to those who come seeking help but have no insurance and little means to pay for services yet want to get back into the working world. The doctors are limited in how they can help the second patient because of the imposed regulations and they find it extremely frustrating.
Compliance is a huge issue. Patients come to them for help but then ignore the advice and don’t take the medicine returning at a later date wondering why they are not getting any better. Duh! Doctors are constantly looking for ways to encourage their patients to stick to the plan. Which brought up another issue - the doctor has to remember that the pain is not theirs but belongs to the patient. It does not mean that they can’t empathize with the patient but if the patient is not willing to do the work towards healing there is little the doctor can truly achieve.
As I listened I realized how privileged I was to be able to get a peek inside the doctors head. I was hearing their frustrations with the government system and with the patients; I was hearing how much they loved their jobs and really just wanted to be of service as a doctor; and I was listening to it from the perspective of a patient.
What kind of patient are you? Are you doing all you can towards your own healing process? What do you think about how the doctors feel? Contact me on Facebook.