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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 317  

What matters to patients matters to me

Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar, Qatar Foundation, Education City, Doha, Qatar

Date of Submission22-Nov-2020
Date of Acceptance25-Nov-2020
Date of Web Publication14-Jan-2021

Correspondence Address:
Ms. Maryam Arabi
Zone 51, Street 790, Villa 94, Doha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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How to cite this article:
Arabi M. What matters to patients matters to me. Heart Views 2020;21:317

How to cite this URL:
Arabi M. What matters to patients matters to me. Heart Views [serial online] 2020 [cited 2023 Dec 7];21:317. Available from: https://www.heartviews.org/text.asp?2020/21/4/317/307033

As I take my first step in the path of medicine, I would like to reflect on an eye-opening experience I encountered during my senior year at high school. I have always been attracted to the field of medicine and its power to end people's suffering from all kinds of diseases. As I continued to explore this fascinating field during high school, I had the opportunity to undergo an internship at the Heart Hospital in Qatar, where my task was to go on rounds with physicians and then interview patients about their impressions on the care they have been provided.

As I walked through the doors of the hospital, I had a vision of what I was about to encounter. Doctors talking to patients about their diagnosis and patients going through surgeries or consuming prescribed pills with high satisfaction over the given treatment and support. But after getting the privilege of meeting thirty patients from different ages and backgrounds, my outlook on medicine changed significantly. Although at first, I assumed that the patients' health was their only priority, I was surprised to see that there was more going on in patients' minds than just that. Patients worried about the cost of health care, losing their jobs, not being able to function like before, and not having the chance to see their families for a while. Some even worried about things as simple as feeding their pet dogs while they resided at the hospital. Aspects of life that might not directly concern health-care workers but mean the world to the patients.

Another point that struck me was the barrier in communication between patients and the health-care team. I saw first-hand the amount of energy and time the nurses and doctors put into explaining the health condition and future procedures. Despite this, around half of the patients mentioned not being able to address or understand the health-care team. In my assessment, this was due to two factors: one being that each of the patient and the health-care worker spoke a different language or that the providers were utilizing medical terminology that made it difficult for the patient to comprehend. To me and the health-care team, the message seemed to be well received, when in reality, the patient was overwhelmed and felt uncomfortable asking the doctors or nurses to reiterate their thoughts or explanations.

This internship has changed my view on medicine. Not only am I currently transitioning from high school to medical school, but my perspective on this fascinating field has also evolved. I now recognize how crucial it is for health-care workers to be well aware of what truly matters to patients and make what matters to them matter to us. And as I seek to help my patients reach optimum well-being, I will be sure to work on treating their mental and emotional health just as much as I do their physical health.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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