A clinical mission statement from a nephrologist: values important to the best patient centered clinical care include teamwork, compassion, and respect.
Though superior clinical knowledge and judgment are essential to excellent clinical care, they are only one pillar of what underlies clinical excellence. Other values that I espouse as important to the best clinical care include teamwork, compassion, and respect.
Teamwork is a vital component and is multifaceted. Effective teamwork begins with creating a pleasant working atmosphere. Being approachable and collaborative are qualities that I strive to maintain. In such an environment, patient care benefits greatly from improved communication and discussion as well as greater dissemination of knowledge. Some of the best clinical learning and development of thought processes often occurs as a result of informal interactions that are encouraged in this environment. This is further facilitated by other core values which are to always respect others and maintain the highest level of integrity.
Giving others the benefit of the doubt
I also live by the philosophy of giving others the benefit of the doubt. I believe that almost all individuals are doing the best they can and do not intentionally provide inadequate care when this occurs. I see these moments as opportunities to teach others and improve the environment.
Compassion and respect
Compassion and respect are amongst the important core values that are pillars of excellent patient care. Compassion through listening, identifying patient vulnerabilities and conveying empathy, greatly facilitate patient-centered care. This is further facilitated through respecting patients by not being judgmental, maintaining their dignity in care, and understanding patient diversity. Ultimately this will build trust and the patient is more likely to be receptive of recommendations and maintain a positive outlook throughout his/her course of treatment.
Research driven by clinical questions
I also believe that continuous questioning of one’s practices leads to the improvement in the care of one’s patients. I see my research endeavors as central to this approach. Therefore, most of the research that I perform has been inspired by specific clinical questions and aims to provide an answer that will improve not only my acumen, but also that of others.
Finally, continuing to strive for excellent rapport with one’s patients, their families, colleagues, and other professionals through approachability, friendly demeanor, humor, and honesty remains vital to my functioning as an effective physician.