A good family physician. Who is he? Everybody knows that he is a doctor. Somebody who diagnoses diseases and treats them. Perhaps that’s the reason why many go to him just to get cured. However, let me point out that he is not just a curer of diseases but far, far more than that. So, what are the attributes of a good family physician? What is it that makes him so special?
Indeed his scope is so comprehensive and broad. He is somebody who provides continuing, comprehensive care for not only his patients but often their families and possibly the people around them. He cares for them regardless of their age and often from the cradle to the grave with a caring attitude that is most comforting.
Have you ever wondered what is it in him that makes him stands out from the rest? He doesn’t just cure their diseases. He goes beyond that. He cares for and comforts his patients with not only his knowledge, experience and skill but also with the BIG C – Compassion.
Indeed compassion makes a great difference. Compassion is the most important factor in him that makes him a true medical doctor. It makes him stands out from the rest.
Compassion is something that a doctor really needs to cultivate in his heart to enable him to feel emphatically for his patients. He becomes naturally friendly and comfortable with all his patients thus putting them at ease and gaining their trust.
His patients naturally reveal more information that is helpful towards establishing an accurate diagnosis and getting the right treatment promptly. Accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment enhance quick healing and recovery. It is compassion that puts everything together so nicely to enhance the therapeutic value of a doctor. Thus, compassion is the essential quality that a doctor needs to develop, to master the art of healing.
A good family physician is indeed a compassionate doctor. In the eyes of his patients, he appears so special and magical.
Many have come into his consultation room groaning in pain, and somehow walked out with a subtle smile. Isn’t he then the person you have been looking for all this while when you have been ill or needed some vital health advice?
A compassionate doctor is not just satisfied with curing diseases. He attempts to teach his patients ways to prevent diseases from recurring. If he has time, he may even go further and do a risk assessment to make sure his patients do not succumb to other debilitating diseases that could seriously affect the quality of their lives.
He is more than just a curative doctor; offers them preventive care on top of that and emphasizes it. Why is this important? The answer is simple – prevention is always better than cure. Preventive medicine is certainly cheaper, more effective and less debilitating. It attempts to treat “the heart attack, stroke, etc.” before they occur. Curative medicine is often a step too little and too late.
A family physician is an all-rounder, the specialist among specialists who knows most diseases. All other specialists have vast knowledge on a small area of interest while a family physician has good knowledge about most diseases – regardless of whether they are in your body or mind. He is able to diagnose most diseases and rule out the sinister ones with potential of causing serious complications. He is also able to manage most mild to moderate diseases. For the more serious ones, he is the best person to suggest who to consult next.
A good family physician is not all pills and needles. He goes beyond that and has a holistic approach that emphasises the role of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle in the management of one’s health. Indeed, to a large extent, we are what we eat and what we do. We could choose to eat and live healthily or disastrously. It is up to us.
A good family physician makes these things clear to his patients, creating a significant degree of awareness and guiding them through, to change favourably in a nice friendly way. He also pays attention to the relevant details of their work and home environment and advises them to make changes accordingly, should the need to do so arise.
My next column will discuss more on how we can heal our body and mind with the help of a family physician.
Dr. Victor Ti, MD, MFAM (Malaysia), FRACGP (Australia), Dip P Dermatology (UK), Dip STDs/AIDS (Thailand), Dip. AARAM (USA), LCP of Aesthetic Med.(Malaysia) is an experienced specialist generalist (Family Physician) of BH Clinic, Phnom Penh. As a specialist generalist, he is skillful at diagnosing all general diseases and excluding the sinister ones. Apart from the general diseases, Dr. Victor is also known for his skill in skin diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, minor surgery and aesthetic medicine. He can be contacted via messenger m.me/bhclinic1 or Tel: 023900446.