***image1***Tuesday is National Doctor’s Day.
Many times, it seems as though each day is doctor’s day – especially here at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, where they play such a critical role in support of operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.
“In most cases I think we are appreciated,” said Capt. Bruce Hess, LRMC staff pediatrician. “We get a lot of positive feedback through cards and letters and we try to do as much for the community as we can.”
Any negative feedback usually involves the waiting room. Many patients don’t like the waiting room. The reason doctors run a little late from time to time is because they don’t like to let a patient leave until all questions have been answered.
“I like the fact that in military medicine you have more one-on-one time to discuss issues with your patients,” said Captain Hess. “On the civilian side there is not as much time to teach and educate.”
Since the operations in Iraq began, many LRMC doctors have seen their workloads increase greatly. In many cases, the larger the workload, the better feeling of accomplishment, especially when they see Soldiers get healthy and return to duty.
Maj. Brent Johnson, medical director of the Deployed Warrior Medical Management Center and LRMC podiatrist, said his patients have increased significantly due to blast wounds to the feet and ankles of downrange Soldiers. The extra work just goes with the territory.
“It’s a huge source of pride for all of us,” said Major Johnson. “That is what military medicine is all about.”
So how can patients say thank you?
“As far as cakes and banners go, I don’t think we need anything like that,” said Captain Hess. “But it would be nice if there was a luncheon for the doctors.”
“It’s nice to have doctor’s day, but it’s not going to change what we do,” said Lt. Col. Lindsey Craver, a LRMC oral surgeon. “Our focus remains on the welfare of our Soldiers and their dependents.”
“Maybe we could have a parade for the wounded guys from Iraq,” said Major Johnson. “After all, we are just doing our jobs. Those men and women are the real heroes.”