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Saturday
Jun162012

I Have Fallen In Love With Patient Care Again

What I love to do is encourage patients to get more involved in their medical care and their well-being by easy to use methods that have great impact.

Yes, it's true. I have for a long time loved the practice of medicine. A few years into practice, I realized the importance of my role as a primary care and the tremendous impact I have on my patients. I started practice post-residency with one of the hardest group of patients (in my opinion) working for the country health department. I knew that if I survived beyond my first year at the health department, I could pretty much make it anywhere, so I set my mind to make a difference and stick to principles of healing, health and well-being all the while, also practicing the art of medicine. Some days were a big challenge but it was a great experience. In fact, things went so well -- I lasted 6 years there making a huge impact on the lives of the patients I served and they in the same way, making an impact on me.

From there, I went into private practice which was also a great learning experience. Only thing, though, was I felt that I was on a hamster's wheel, expending so much energy into providing care for my patients but not seeing the corresponding on my investment because of decreased re-imbursements, malpractice insurances, taxes and overhead and the typical other things that needed to be paid. I knew after few years of doing this that if I continued things this way, the joy of medicine will be snuffed and sucked right out of me. So I had 2 options. One was re-evaluate if I wanted to continue with the profession or choose some other nonclinical path....(but I really liked patient care), OR create a way in which come decreased re-imbursement or overhead or salaried position or whatever, I was financially to do what I really loved. 

I liked the second option much better and had to accept the fact that I was not a traitor or having double standards for wanting to both enjoy the profession and be financially free while doing so. Since I did not know how to financially free myself and knew nothing about the business side of medicine and the only impression of business I knew and didn't like was that of salesmen. I got a business mentor who made me realize that it was possible to have a wider impact on patients lives if I leveraged what i loved to do. And what I love to do is encourage patients to get more involved in their medical care and their well-being by easy to use methods that have great impact. 

So Healthfully Organized Living was born. This is my line of patient care products that helps patients get their thoughts organized and puts some responsibility back in the hands of the patient. The nice thing about it is I get to do it on a larger scale than if I were just seeing patients one at a time. Everytime I see my product in the hands of a patient, it makes me smile because they are one more step in control of their health and using my product to achieve this. 

The process of creating products has definitely broadened my scope of what I feel I can do with my skills and abilities as a doctor and even though this is just the beginning, I no longer feel  confined to one track way of thinking. Rather, I am able to use my years of experience to come up with resources that actually help my patients and many others. Yes, I (and many doctors alike) can use the skills and talents we have acquired in medical school and practice in more ways than one and it is so nice to do this outside the "traditional" box of the medical practice.

About the author: Dr. Omada Idachaba is an Internist, clinical professor, lifestyle instructor and author with a heart for improving the health status of all of her patients. She is also the mind behind Healthfully Organized Living, a patient health advocate program which aims to make patients be responsible of their health status. Dr Idachaba's site is at http://omadaidachabamd.com

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