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"The value of observant observation" to the editor.


I am a 30-year-old mother of three whose youngest child has severe CP as a result of perinatal asphyxia. I am also a pre-med student in biology at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland. I was deeply touched by your insight in the Editor's Desk, "The Value of Observant Observation" (March 2002). You have touched on a subject that is often neglected--especially by academically focused students and residents. I don't know how many times my daughter could have been saved a lot of discomfort and aggravation if residents (as well as attending physicians, at times) had bothered to listen.

Often I find (especially with students and new doctors who have limited experience prescribing anything other than standard therapy) that parents are not even consulted when it comes to planning treatment. Why would anyone ever leave out a parent? How can one be an advocate When left out of the loop? I can think of many problems that could have been avoided had someone asked if we had previously tried a particular therapy. I don't know how many physicians came up with the "brilliant idea" to put my daughter on a particular medication to control her excessive secretions while she was an inpatient. If they had bothered to ask, I could have told them that even in the smallest doses this medication would cause her secretions to thicken, then she would go into respiratory distress. Often people get caught up in the physiology of things and neglect what is right in front of them.

I feel you have touched on a very important issue that needs to be shared, not only with the current medical student population, but with future medical students as well. I thank you for sharing your insight, and I only hope that more people begin to utilize their abilities to make common sense observations.
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Author:Blakeman, Natalie
Publication:The Exceptional Parent
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Jun 1, 2002
Previous Article:On catching myself taking one step to the left. (editor's desk).
Next Article:"Noticeable difference".

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