My Dad, My Patient

This past week, I had the opportunity to present my dad as a case study for my Senior Seminar II class. It turned out to be a transforming experience!

Before he came to class, I performed an intake and case history with him. I learned that when working with family, it was a little difficult to stay objective, as I know him well, so I had a different perception of certain things than he. With a patient at clinic, there is usually no outside reference point, so the information being given is the only information the intern and clinician learn. With family, we know what they eat, their health history and their moods, but their perception and ours are not always the same. I think I was supposed to let the patient be right in this case, but since it was my dad, I found an area of grey for us both to agree on when we saw things a little differently. I think this was a great learning opportunity for us both.

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When my dad came to the clinic, it was an interesting experience to step back and listen to the clinician and other intern ask him further questions and gather additional information. It was both difficult and motivating to see my dad fully as a patient at the clinic. Since he is my dad, I have always looked up to him, but at the same time, would do anything for him.

Once we decided on a treatment plan, we advised my dad to go into the treatment room and prepare for his treatment. He was a very cooperative patient. He is rather needle-sensitive and very in-tune to the "qi sensation" (energetic response of the needles), but handled it very well. He informed us of how he was feeling during the needling aspect of the treatment once we had placed all the needles. I felt this brought an added educational benefit.

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My dad reported a positive response to the treatment. He continued to feel the benefits of the treatment the following days. In addition to my dad's benefits and the educational aspects of this case study, this felt like a bit of a milestone somehow for my dad and me. It felt a bit peculiar at times to have our roles shifted as patient and intern, but at the same time, it felt like something expanded between us by doing so. If you have read my previous blog from last trimester, you know that my dad and I are very close and he joined me at the AOM pinning ceremony. Having a moment in time where we were patient and intern instead of dad and daughter was rather intriguing.