Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013-20 Sheryl Jedlinski
by Sheryl Jedlinski
My Movement Disorders Specialist and friend of more than 20 years recently announced that she will close her clinical practice and stop seeing patients after June 30. She will turn her attention instead to education and advocacy, continuing her leadership roles in international professional organizations.
The change will be difficult for Dr. Cindy, who has made patient care her “passion” for more than 30 years. She will miss her clinics, talking with long-time patients and their families, and having the opportunity to provide suggestions to help make their lives better. She does not plan on fading away, however, as she will remain affiliated with Chicago’s RUSH University Medical Center as an Emeritus Professor.
Dr. Cindy’s departure from clinical practice will be difficult for patients like me, who have come to rely on her expert guidance. The long-term commitment she has shown us has created trust and hope that are stronger than any medication on the market. Despite her humble protests to the contrary, I know Dr. Cindy is irreplaceable. She knows things about me that cannot be handed down in an electronic health record or transferred from one doctor to another.
Recognizing that what we have is special, Dr. Cindy and I have traveled the country speaking about the importance of good doctor-patient relationships and how to develop these. Unfortunately, changes in the practice of medicine have made it too time consuming and too stressful for Dr. Cindy to continue her “old school” ways.
The move to electronic health records that was supposed to improve efficiency and reduce mistakes, instead has left Dr. Cindy feeling more like a “scribe” than a doctor, forcing her to look at her computer monitor rather than her patient when taking histories. Limits on appointment times make it difficult to get to know her patients. Having to convince non-medical people to approve medications and procedures steals time from providing patient care.
Distinguishing between good and great physicians, Sir William Osler, the founder of modern medicine, wrote, “The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.”
Dr. Cindy is a great physician. She will be missed.