We’d like to introduce a new feature in our Bulletin highlighting reflections on the ‘heart and soul’ of practicing medicine — the relationship with patients. We invite you to share anecdotes, stories, poems or any other creative form expressing how you have helped people deal with some of life’s most difficult challenges and the courage and resilience often necessary as doctor and patient. By sharing these reflections we hope to remind you of the importance and the universal human context of what you do every day.
Today’s feature recounts one instance of the gratitude patients often have for your efforts. It was written by O’Neill D’Cruz, MD, a neurologist in Chapel Hill. His story, “Thank You, Doctor” is from All Shall Be Well, a collection of his essays. His goal in writing and compiling these stories, several of which have been published previously in national journals, was to help residents and students counsel patients as well as aid patients and their loved ones find a way forward in the face of illness.
“I found patients find these stories more helpful than facts and figures because they are universal to us as human beings and let us find our own way,” Dr. D’Cruz explains. “Also, sharing these stories helps us heal our own wounds.”
Dr. D’Cruz is a Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership (KIPL) Leadership College alumnus and now serves as a KIPL faculty member.
“Thank You, Doctor” is an especially fitting story as we’re currently seeking nominations for the NC Doctor of the Year Award as part of the NC Doctors’ Day celebration on March 30. Patients, staff and colleagues already have nominated well over 200 physicians throughout the state who they think worthy of being named the 2016 NC Doctor of the Year. Visit the NC Doctors’ Day website to learn more about this way to express gratitude for what doctors do every day.
Enjoy Dr. D’Cruz’s story, and please email Elaine Ellis, North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Director of Communications and Marketing with any reflections you’d like to share. If you have questions, please call her at 919-833-3836 x112.