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Technicians versus "Real" Doctors"

Posted Jul 06 2011 10:55am

My favorite professor  in medical school was a wondefull neurosurgeon, Dr. Frederick Reichert. Not only was Dr. Reichert a great teacher but he was a marvelous physician as well. He excelled in the art, as well as the practice of medicine. I well remember him saying, "I can train almost anyone to be a technician but it is very difficult to find and teach those who will become 'real' doctors."

I have just had a very bad experience with a group of doctors who are technicians, not real doctors. Yes, they order treatments and write prescriptions but they have no idea how to talk with  patients or to help them understand what lies ahead if they make certain choices. I realize that with our current medical school training the medical students are learning rote medicine and not much of the art. When I teach medical students the first thing I say to them is "I want to teach you the art of medicine, as well as practical information. Much of what you learn in medical school will be forgotten or become outdated but if you truly learn out to relate to a patient and understand their fears and worries then you will become real doctors." The medical students tell me that no none else talks to them like this.

My advice to patients is that if your primary doctor or specialist doesn't get to know you or have any understanding of your fears or concerns then it is time to find a "real" doctor. It seems  this is getting harder and harder but there are still some caring, concerned and well-trained physicians.


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