Once in a while, my California doctor would do a procedure on me in his office. One day I went in with a lump right below my nose, in the spot where one had been removed decades ago. I told him that two other lumps had come and gone since surgery, but I felt uneasy about the latest one.
Getting ready to remove it, he said: You seem to put yourself into a zen-like state. I told him it was just pure trust.
My uneasiness about the lump was justified--it was a basal cell carcinoma.
So yes, I trusted him. But what I always tell friends about him is: He trusted me. He always listened to what I thought was going on with me. When I was right, he said so.
Don't we all deserve this trust from our doctors? Dr. James Salwitz seems to think so.
This came by e-mail, From Sunrise Rounds Tuesday the 25th
"I will need to understand his incentives, goals and how he makes decisions. Otherwise, I am afraid his health will suffer because of mistakes, by him or me, born of poor communication.
Curing his cancer requires not only that he understand me,
but that I trust him."