Monday, July 7, 2008

My surgeon called me "dude"

Perhaps it is my age. OK, definitely it is my age. But this story is also an excellent example of how to navigate tricky medical-legal waters: Honesty.

I recently had surgery. An umbilical hernia repair. No biggie. At a check up two weeks post-surgery I told my surgeon about a hard lump under one of the incisions. He palpated and said:

"Oh, Dude. I didn't do right by you on this one. I stitched your abdominal muscle too tight. (pause, shaking his head in disappointment) Well, I'll make it right for you."

I'm not sure what struck me more, being called "dude" or his sincere honesty.

He explained it couldn't be fixed right away...not without giving me a new hernia. I'll get it checked at 12 weeks and see what happens. For those of you who know me, there is no risk that it will affect a swimsuit modeling gig or anything.

Have you ever had a situation like this with a doc? Have you had a situation in the field where you made an error?

I'm not saying this is the way to handle everything but it sure made me think about how I personally handle and teach medical-legal issues.

There is something about sincerity and honesty that go a long way...Dude.

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