Perhaps not all physicians will celebrate over forty years of treating individual patients with serious cardiac or other medical problems. But all physicians have the opportunity to experience the rewards of doctoring and healing. As a profession we must spend less time complaining and more time rejoicing about what medicine does for our patients and for us.
We need to combine the science of medicine with its art and to get our doctors and our patients back in sync. Medical schools are finally beginning to recognize this and are revising their entrance test to place more emphasis on the social, not just the biological sciences. It is crucial that we make medicine more humane.
Only when the vast majority of medical professionals choose to be forthright about the disclosure of Alzheimer's, will we all begin to see and understand the disease from the same point of view. As the stigma fades away, as it once did with cancer, we will step up our efforts to raise awareness, care for our loved ones and ultimately find a cure.
The degree of success, whether a doctor or a hospital (or any business), isn't always measured by good outcomes. It is measured by what happens after a mistake. We all make mistakes because we're human. It's unavoidable. What is in our control, however, is the way we treat a person and family afterward.