My dear patients,
Welcome to my Blog I.M. INFORMATION MATTERS. Let me introduce myself and my approach.
My name is Dr. Susanne Weyrauch, I am an internist and gastroenterologist. After medical school and my specilisation (first on internal medicine, then on gastroenterology) I worked in outpatients clinics for the last years, always offering special consultation hours for patients with inflammatory bowel disease, IBD.
As a gastroenterologist I found myself particularly intrigued by IBD for years. Even in the very beginning of my carrer I had an interest on these very special diseases. Our knowledge on this issue is constantly growing but honestly – wether or why one patient with Crohn´s desease only has a light inflammation on the terminal ileum and only needs light medication to stay stable and another one has fistulas with necessity for surgery and needs to switch therapy over and over again, we just do not know.
And that is what makes interaction with the patients so special and in a way even sophisticated. Every once in a while we as doctors together with the patient just do not know why things are happening or turning out in a certain way. And that`s what we have to deal with.
For me that is a challenge worth taking. To take care of these patients in the best possible way and to search for the best possible treatment for a certain patient in a certain situation is exactly my idea of working as a doctor.
And I figure I do handle things differently than some of my colleagues. First and foremost I always share information. Talk about inflammatory bowel disease again and again and again.
Each time I see my patients , it`s never like : “Hi, well things are going alright, so we`ll stick with the therapy – bye”. Or “Hi, well, seems like we need to change therapy, I will write you a receipt, we change the medication – bye.”
Explain, inform, explain again and inform again. What we know about the disease, what we do not know. What we need to consider. What the patient has to take care for (yes! It is not only the doctor who can change things by subscribing medication. There is a lot that the patients can contribute) and what I as a doctor need to have in mind. What is happening. What is important for diagnostic procedures and what is important regarding the therapy. Where the purpose lies. How fast (or very often: not fast !) we can achieve the purpose and what might come in our way. Last not least why I make a certain decision or suggestion.
I.M. – INFORMATION MATTERS
and makes a difference.
Something that is at least as important as information: communication. Ask the patient: how are you? And listen. How are things going with the disease? Yes, of course the gut and the stomach. But the rest? How is the job going? How much is the every day life affected? What is putting stress on the patient leading to increase of symptoms? And is it maybe avoidable?
I am convinced especially in IBD: as a doctor you do have to consider every aspect of the patient and recognize it, to find the best solution for his or her problem.
A collaborative approach to medicine is key to involve the patient, to communicate. That is my goal, thats how I have been doing it for years and I still consider it an excellent approach.
And why not use the chance with the Blog I.M. INFORMATION MATTERS to reach more people with IBD than I ever could during my consultation hour ?