/ /

  • linkedin
  • Increase Font
  • Sharebar

    Which patients deserve empathy?


    Being used to patients chomping at the bits to proceed with surgery having travelled long distances and my desire to halt them all and first spend time reviewing a personalized plan, options and prognosis, I was stunned by these words.

    Previous blog: Dysunctional lens syndrome paradox

    Shocked as I was, I was quiet but for some reason, I heard a voice in my head saying to her, “do you know that I do not need even need to see you? I do not advertise or do any deals or lure any patient to come to me. It is my surgical results and rock-solid integrity that has patients from all over the world being referred to me by excellent eye surgeons themselves.”

     This voice further increased in crescendo: "Additionally, I do not get swayed by industry talks neither do I do kickbacks for anyone.  No one, not even my staff is incentivized for any of our services. I have patients right now in my institute from all over the planet looking forward to seeing me and I will be lecturing about my techniques all over the globe this year.”

    While this voice in my head continued, I kept my regular composure and uttered the words, "You should not proceed with any surgery with me. I would like you to go back home and think about my plan.”  I saw the dejected look in her and her attendant’s eyes, but I had made up my mind. The voice in my head softened, now as if speaking to me and confirming my actions, “ You have a tremendous track record and maybe your being humble instead of arrogant and always trying to be available, instead of leaving the room in minutes (like most ‘efficient’ doctors do), must have come across as an anomaly to her.”

    That night as I slept, I wondered, was I right in my actions? I go above and beyond most practices to care for patients like they were family. This despite the fact they fly to me with full confidence and I don’t ever have to “sell” my services. I have shocked many patients by inviting them to share my lunch while they are dilating, showing up at their hotel to say “Hi,” inspiring their children, letting them take fun pictures and videos. I even drove myself once to get lunch for a recent patient from Australia when I learnt that he missed his flight and rushed to see me without having any breakfast. 

    Next: This is empathy…right?

    Arun C. Gulani, MD
    Dr. Gulani is director of refractive surgery and chief, cornea & external disease, as well as assistant professor, department of ...

    New Call-to-action


    You must be signed in to leave a comment. Registering is fast and free!

    All comments must follow the ModernMedicine Network community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated. ModernMedicine reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part,in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

    • [email protected]
      Is this for real? It seems like a self serving advertisement..A blog version of the TV show undercover boss....just a giant PR ad for the writer...
    • Anonymous
      Is this real or a spoof? It is so poorly written, and filled with such megalomaniacal nonsense it seems like it could be a late April fool's article. A guest blogger still deserves the skill of a good editor. The claim about not advertising is refuted with a simple Google search. His website includes "Dr. GQ-So pleasing to the eye." Please tell me this is lampooning our professions excesses and isn't what Ophthalmology Times now considers relevant opinion.
    • Anonymous
      Beautiful humble brag


    View Results