Peach Pie

Hello, again. What a weekend I had. After clinic last Friday, I met a few friends at Tampa International Airport and took off to Atlanta, Georgia. We flew up to meet another friend who had recently moved to Atlanta, plus attend the Music Midtown music festival. We could not have asked for a nicer weekend for a music festival; the sun was shining, the wind was crisp, and the music was incredible. My pals and I jammed out to Ludacris, Florence + The Machine, Neon Trees, and Pearl Jam throughout the day on Saturday. I made it home late afternoon Sunday, was asleep by 9:30 p.m. and ready to go this morning...for the most part.

2012-09-24_friends
With friends at the Midtown Music festival.

Today's blog somewhat plays into last week's submission, which spoke about being prepared for each patient encounter. Today I'd like to talk about peach pie. No, this isn't a foodie blog, and I won't be handing out a recipe per se, but last week I heard the analogy of peach pie, and today I'll share it with you.

So, to make a good peach pie the first thing you need is good peaches. If you make your way into the forest half-heartedly looking for peaches and end up picking up rabbit poop, you're going to end up with a pretty crappy peach pie. How does this story relate to seeing patients? If you are evaluating the patient and not looking for the right things, you end up with a "crappy" diagnosis. Get it?

As a doctor you have to think like a doctor; you have to put things together and look for things that aren't always readily apparent. Always remember, your patients haven't read the textbooks and may not always present exactly how the book tells you they should. An orthopedic test might yield a "negative" response to what its textbook definition is, but may in turn tell you everything you need to know in a significant other finding. It's all about looking for the right ingredients. Let the patient show or tell you what's wrong. Don't tunnel vision yourself into a diagnosis or orthopedic test finding and end up just picking up rabbit poop. Be present during each patient interaction. Look at every aspect of that patient and take something away from each thing they tell you, what they can do, and what they can't; it will all be leading you to the peaches you need for a quality diagnosis.

2012-09-24_pearljam
Pearl Jam at the Midtown Music festival.

I hope my analogy today made some sense. I tend to gravitate to the offbeat ways of learning, so this was right in my wheelhouse. I love dealing with patients; it's like putting together a puzzle. You really have to keep an open mind and look and listen to everything the patient says and does to find where all the pieces fit together. Man, I'm full of analogies today.

I hope everyone has a killer week. Remember to always keep an open mind, and never stop practicing!

Dex