The word “patient” itself is a little intimidating to me... “a person that is sick or ill and scheduled or registered to receive medical treatment.”
After many visits to many doctors and emergency rooms for extreme stomach pain, I finally got a referral from my primary care physician to see a Gastroenterology specialist. Sitting in the patient waiting room, I felt defeated and out of place among several senior citizens.
In the distance, I could hear the front desk staff rumbling about my insurance and not having all the information they needed to gather after receiving the referral from my primary care doctor. I now was stressing that I wouldn’t be able to see the doctor or get any answers, again.
About 5 minutes after I sat down, a nurse approached me and called me in the back to start my evaluation. He apologized that I had to deal with the issues at the front desk and reassured me I would be able to see the doctor regardless. The doctor, Dr. Stewart, entered the room and sat next to me. He spoke to me for about 15 minutes before turning to his laptop to record my symptoms, ask further questions about my health history, or offer more part-time medications. I have never had a doctor sit with me and act like I was a person, not just a patient. After a further evaluation of my health history, he looked at me and said, “we will find out what is going on with your pain. If I can’t diagnose, after tests of course, we will resort to treatment long or short term of your choice, if needed."
Dr. Stewart asked what my work schedule was like and gave me three options to start eliminating known diagnoses with side effects and what would happen next. He offered homeopathic or prescribed ways to ease my pain until we could figure out what was happening. We scheduled my upper scope within 15 days and he worked around my schedule as much as possible to include the location of my procedure.
I had a couple procedures after my upper scope to try and eliminate any other diagnoses, always with the same care, concern and 10-15 minutes asking questions, getting to know me, and easing my fears. Dr. Stewart was genuine, never swaying from the mannerisms he showed me during my first visit. I was never diagnosed but I have answers along with options for easing my pain combined with a mild Rx.
He is by far the best doctor I have ever seen and I feel better than I have in years. Dr. Stewart calls me personally to see how I am feeling after each procedure and answer any questions. I do not feel like a patient when I go to Dr. Stewart’s office. I feel like a person that is giving a medical professional some research in a field he loves.
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