How Are YOU DOing? COVID-19 Edition

Doctor comforting patientHow are you doing?  This is usually the first question I ask my patients when I see them in the office.  I suspect like many of you, the typical answers I get now (terrified, I don’t know, bad) are different than what I would have gotten six months ago (good, ok, not bad).  What hasn’t changed is the thing that patients most need from us – information.

It’s no secret we live in an age of information overload.  Some of the information that’s out there is correct, some of it’s not.  Opinions disguise themselves as facts.  Celebrity status (or lack thereof) may define the weight of your words.  And with the ease of publishing information (including social media), the information people get may be nothing close to what was actually said.  The COVID-19 pandemic is not immune to misinformation either.  Patients have told me that it’s just “this year’s flu” or “Coronavirus was invented in China.”

As we watch the numbers of those infected and those dying from this pandemic rise, what I see in primary care as rising even faster is the anxiety about the virus.  Being an office-based physician in a rural community, I readily admit I have not seen too many cases of COVID-19.  But we have all seen the panic that has gripped the nation and the world.  In some cases, this is founded.  In some, it is not.

Most of us got the lecture on the first day of medical school that doctor comes from the word “docere” meaning teacher, or to instruct.  Indeed, there is a terrible disease out there that we must fight.  Sometimes we can get patients through this, and other times we see the grim consequences.  But what we can affect is being a source of good information for our patients, answering their questions, and alleviating their fears.  This has always been the most satisfying part of medicine for me.  And although not all of us are on the front lines of this pandemic, if we can help to ease the burden on our front-line troops, then we are DOing well.

Share this post:

Comments on "How Are YOU DOing? COVID-19 Edition"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment