Following Your Instincts
Chelsea Wicks, MD, pediatrician, Renown Medical Group
As a physician I think the best piece of advice I received was from no other than my mother. As I was embarking into medical school, I vividly remember her telling me “please just listen to your patients”. I have taken this piece of advice with me all the way through and it has proven time and time again to be the most important thing I do.
Most memorably, one of my patients was having recurrent fevers nearly every month for several months in a row. He was seen by several different doctors in several different locations. His family was told most times he had normal illnesses from being in daycare. His mother finally sat me down at one point and just said “something is wrong.”
We started looking at things very carefully and eventually found he had a very rare condition that was causing recurrent fevers. Once it was identified, we were able to get him the appropriate treatment and he has since been essentially fever free.
This patient’s mother wasn’t sure what was wrong and she could have easily just believed what her son was going through was “normal” but her instincts told her something was not right. This being said, I always encourage my patient’s parents to call me or bring their child in whenever they are worried about something. If things are okay, I can give them peace of mind and then educate on signs and symptoms to watch out for in the future. But, I’d rather be able to let the parent know things are fine than have the child suffer and not get appropriate treatment because the parents are worried they are going to be told they shouldn’t have worried.
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