Heidi Roman, M.D. takes the good with the bad:
As a pediatrician at a busy county clinic with close proximity to pediatric specialists, I care for a significant number of children with special health care needs. Instead of colds and ear infections (though there are those too), my days are often filled thinking about gastrostomy tubes, tracheostomies, and ventriculo-peritoneal shunts. I sign orders for specialty formulas and nebulizer machines. Many of my patients have thick charts and diagnoses like hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, chronic renal failure, and achondroplasia. And, I wouldn’t have it any other way. These kids and their families have taught me more than I can possibly put into writing. About medicine. About life.
Dr. Roman explains that while the child with special health care needs may be medically fragile and complex, it is not the child or the parents and caretakers who are the “difficult” ones:
Granted, sometimes these encounters are tough. For various reasons. Often these kids are given a fifteen minute clinic visit, when what they really deserve is an hour or more. Sometimes I am missing the documentation of their most recent specialty visit. There may be issues with the home care or equipment companies. I must confess that, in moments of frustration, the phrase “difficult patient” has probably passed my lips. But, no more.
Read why here.