Letter from the Editor
I recently had the great honor of being a recipient of the healthcare that we report on
in this magazine. What I mean is that I was ordered into the hospital for a procedure.
Nothing serious, and I won’t annoy you with TMI (too much information, as my kids
say). But here’s the point of view of a patient, rather than an editor.
I am a very lucky person. I live in a big city, near numerous teaching hospitals, and
have access to extraordinary expertise, no matter what part of my body is experiencing a hiccup. But beyond medical skill, I was impressed by the “care” part of my
At my initial appointment in the doctor’s office, I went through the experience all
patients have, even during a routine checkup. Everyone—the receptionist, the nurse, the doctor, the woman
who explained to me what was going to happen—asked my name and birthdate, even though I had given it
to all the others. I had no objection to this, since I realize it’s a double/triple/quadruple check to be sure they
don’t do my procedure on another patient and vice-versa. Unlikely, but it’s good to be certain.
When they put on my hospital gown, I noticed it had a vent sewn into it. Turned out this was for a tube connected to a small machine that kept my body warm under the gown. Shows you that innovation is happening even in low-tech areas. As a group of very affable professionals fussed over me, not only did they ask the
important questions about my medications, history and drug allergies, but they also exhibited a touching
concern for small personal issues. As they removed my glasses, they asked if I would like them available in
the recovery room. I would, and they were.
Fortunately, all went well. Even though I was in the hospital for less than two days, I was visited by my
surgeon, his partner, and two of the interns from his office. That’s in addition to my primary nurse and a
number of people in her wake who tended to my IV, machines, breathing, vital signs, patient experience and
more. Even the woman who delivered my meals seemed genuinely concerned about my state of mind.
Let me point out that I am not a celebrity, even within my community. My name is not on a plaque anywhere
in the hospital. And yet I could not imagine getting better care, both of the medical and human kind, from
intake to discharge. It reminds you that training is a broad category that extends far beyond pills, potions
and professional procedures.
So thank you, healthcare system. From the viewpoint of this patient, you’re doing fine.
As always, we continue to look for the value of your contributions. Let us know if you have an idea for an
article—the people we write for are the people who write for us.
Neil Greenberg, Editor
To become an HS&M contributing author or provide feedback, please email me