The Secret of the Care of the Patient
As true today as when Dr. Francis Peabody first wrote his famous 1927 essay, at Florence Neurosurgery and Spine Center, we believe strongly that “the secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient.” Medicine and healthcare change almost on a daily basis, with new technology, new medications, and new approaches. Yet this fundamental principal of good medicine remains.
It is an enormous responsibility that a physician accepts, when a patient places his trust in his doctor. But more so, it is a humbling privilege that requires an unyielding commitment to what is best for the patient in front of you. Numerous external pressures confront the modern physician. Unfunded government mandates, insurance companies, hospital bureaucracies, malpractice claims, unreasonable expectations, an internet filled with “half-way facts,” and a world that accepts one marginal study’s results as “evidence-based medicine.” Yet, when face-to-face with a patient, doctors must do their best to make the right decision—to do what is best for the patient in front of them.
We are often asked by patients confronting difficult decisions “what would you do doctor if it were your spouse? If it were your child? If it were your mother?” These are easy questions for most physicians, as there are no separate standards. There are no secret medicines or interventions brought out for the “important” patient. Given the same set of circumstances, the same clinical presentation, the same physical findings, the recommendations would be the same—be it for the homeless man, the drug abuser, the executive, or the local minister.
That is not to say that physicians do not err or that other opinions may not be valid. Empathy and compassion, however, must be the driving force in physician decision-making.
A successful organization should be able to understand and articulate its underlying mission. At Florence Neurosurgery and Spine Center, we encourage our physicians, providers, nurses, technicians, and staff to periodically review our mission statement as we hope that it will inform and motivate them during their daily work lives:
“We pledge to our patients that we will place their needs first and foremost as we help them to confront potentially complex and even life threatening neurosurgical disease processes. We are committed to maintaining our own continuing education as well as offering state of the art neurosurgical techniques. We will work along side our medical colleagues, always advocating for our patients, hoping to improve the quality of their lives…”
At Florence Neurosurgery and Spine Center we embrace Dr. Peabody’s advice given so long ago, that “the secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient.”
© Florence Neurosurgery and Spine Center