Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Psychiatrist is Grateful She Helped a Patient Get His Life Back After Alcoholism & Liver Disease ~ The Holiday Happiness Marathon Continues!! ~


Welcome & Thank You To All My Guest Bloggers--Doctors, Nurses & Patients whose stories warm our hearts....Here is Another Story From A Doc!

The Moment That Sealed My Conviction For A Career in Medicine
Dr. Cawthorn-Opalinski, Psychiatry
San Antonio, TX

In my intern year on call, I was seeing a patient on the medicine floor as a consult. It was in August so my anxiety was high as well as my stress level given I was 6 months pregnant.

 The patient was admitted for alcohol detox, and suffered chronic liver damage from the years of heavy alcoholism. I spoke with him for about 1 hour including discussion of clinical depression and many loses secondary to alcoholism including employment, marriages, familial relationships (including children), financial independence.  Using motivational interviewing I was able to elicit insight and movement from precontemplation to contemplation in the stages of change.  Since I saw him on consults, I did not have direct follow up, and I did not know what occurred after our discussion.

 A couple of months later, I received word in my resident meeting that the patient had stopped drinking and was able to reconnect with his children which furthered his motivation.  He had written a comment card in the patient advocate office about how impressed he was with my bedside manner, and he felt that our discussion changed his life.

 I was thankful for the recognition, but more than that thankful that I played a role in helping a family regain a relationship with their father, son, brother... This was 3 years ago, and although I have never seen him again, I think about that interaction and hope for his continued sobriety and healthy relationship with his family.

 This was a moment that sealed my conviction for a career in the medical field particularly psychiatry.

Thank you Doc for sharing your story with us!!  Readers--lets send a little love back to Dr. C in the comments!!  Write away!! :-))


1 comment:

  1. Dr. C, Thank you for caring! Psychiatrists have one of the toughest jobs and I am grateful there are people willing to go into this field. Bless you Dr. C and all...


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