The following is a message I received from a CHC Doctor, adapted to the blog:
Two of us were talking about how refreshing it is to work at our new site in Waterbury. I truly believe that our patients are appreciative of what we do at all of our sites, but in the more established sites they don’t think to say it very often. Waterbury is different. We’re seeing patients who haven’t seen doctors in 5, 10, even 15 years, and all of them have some pretty serious medical problems. They are so grateful to have CHC in Waterbury!
Yesterday I had a sixty-something year old patient yesterday who came in for a “new patient” visit. He had respiratory and cardiac conditions and had had various procedures he wasn’t sure about. He hasn’t had a regular checkup in years; he only goes to the hospital. He doesn’t even have a cardiologist because of his insurance issues. At the end of the visit, I gave him my card, explained that we would have him sign some papers so I can get the records from the hospital, and told him that, if he went back to the hospital for any reason, he should show them my card and have them call me.
His face LIT UP. “So, if anyone asks, I can tell them that you’re my doctor?” Yes, I’m your doctor now. “So, Dr. Eleck is my doctor. I can really tell people that Dr. Eleck is my doctor? I have a doctor?” Yes, please tell people that I’m your doctor, because I want to know about all of your health and everything that happens to you. “And when I come back, I’ll see you again, because you’re my doctor?” He must have asked me the same question about six different ways on our walk to the front desk, and it struck me just how much it meant to him to have a doctor and how scary it must be trying to find your way through the medical system without a primary care provider to explain things and accompany you.
He’s not our only story like that. We noted that all of our patients are grateful, and they make it very clear. On Tuesday, I saw 15 new patient visits, plus a few follow-ups, and everyone thanked me. Wow. On days like these, I feel honored to do my job.