The children I saw at birth are now entering second or third grade, and I have seen some teenagers who are now in their 20s and bringing their own children to my practice. I have gotten to know these families well.

I encourage you in whatever field you practice to truly take the time to know your patients or students. Build a rapport with them, and you will be able to treat them better. The healing you may provide during some visits may not be an antibiotic given, but a listening ear.

Do not treat people solely based on guidelines and textbooks, but also think of how you would treat your mother, father, child, and other family members. Would your treatment plan be the same? Is the specialist to whom you just referred your patient the same one to whom you would send your family member for expert advice?

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Take this into consideration when you are practicing medicine. Take time to know your patients well. Some will do better on different treatment regimens, and some would prefer the personality of one specialist compared with another, which could potentially lead to a better outcome and outlook on their visit. Take time to think about these situations and to get feedback from patients who have been to referred to these specialists. 

As health care providers, we have a tremendous impact on our patients’ lives. Our patients and their families look up to us. May we go each day into practice with a smile on our face, knowing that with all the hard work that we have done to get where we are today, people our entrusting their lives to us.

As Hippocrates stated, “Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.”

Chad R. Stough, MPAS, PA-C, works as a physician assistant at West Atlanta Pediatrics 
in Dallas, Ga.