I recently filled in for a colleague who couldn’t make it to clinic. Families were given the option to reschedule but most were fine seeing me, the new doctor.
Some of these children had seen my colleague for years. And few knew what it was like to talk to someone different about their child’s chronic bowel disease. It was kind of a big deal.
What were they thinking? I watched closely and asked a few at the close of the visit.
- This is interesting. Parents processed my style, mannerisms, and cadence while answering questions. My socks seemed to draw nearly as much interest as anything else.
- You have a different view. After my movements and style were my ideas and approach. Identification of the difference in my ideas and approach seemed to be a common thread.
- I like both of you. A couple reflected on the unique value that different health professionals bring.
What was unique here was the fact that none of the families made the deliberate choice to find another provider. The circumstances demanded it. But seeing me was an unplanned trial that I suspect changed the mindset of some of these families. I wasn’t better or worse, just different.
This got me thinking about the sensibility of seeing only one doctor.
New perspectives reveal new things. Change is good. And when it comes to our health, we don’t try it enough. The next time your doctor’s sick, try it.
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Image via Martha Dominguez de Gouveia on Unsplash