By Michael Kirsch, MD, Center for Digestive Health and Endoscopy Center
Would you rather that your doctor have excellent medical knowledge or superb medical judgment? Think of your answer before reading on.
Patients are drawn to doctors and medical facilities who boast ‘cutting edge’ medical knowledge and techniques. Medical judgement, which is much more important in my view, is barely mentioned.
Good doctors have great knowledge, but great doctors have excellent judgment. Consider the following vignette that I hope illustrates why judgement means more than knowledge.
A patient comes to the emergency room with abdominal pain. The physician refers him to two different physicians, Dr. Knowledge and Dr. Judgment. Which of these physicians would you rather see?
I recommend that your gallbladder be removed. I have trained in advanced robotic surgery, which leaves only one very small scar. My complication rate is extremely low. Our operating room team is excellent. I am the only surgeon in the hospital who is credentialed in robotic surgery.
If you visited only Dr. Knowledge, then you would likely be very impressed with his credentials and would schedule the surgery with great confidence that you would receive excellent care. If you had family members with you, your conversation afterwards would mention how lucky you were to fall into the hands of such a talented surgeon. Before you belly up to the scalpel, let’s hear from Dr. Judgement.
After listening to your medical history and examining you, I don’t think that your gallbladder is responsible. While I’m not certain what caused your pain, I do not think that you should have surgery and remove an organ that is an innocent bystander. Since you’re feeling better now, let’s just keep an eye on you for now. I’ll see you in a month. If the pain returns, then call me right away.
I know which of these doctors I would want as my doctor. Medical knowledge, however, has a lot more sizzle than medical judgment. Look and listen to the advertisements from our area health care institutions. Knowledge sells.
Do any of these sound familiar?
- Our orthopedists can make your back pain go away with a painless treatment that takes only 1 hour.
- Make obesity history. Make our bariatric surgery team, your team.
- Our state-of-the-art oncologists specialize in giving second opinions. You deserve state-of-the-art care. Call us.
Of course, you want your physician to have knowledge and skill when you will be undergoing a medical procedure or surgery. But, the more important question is if you need the procedure in the first place. I’ve done 30,000 colonoscopies in my career thus far. I know how to perform the procedure skillfully. Hopefully, I also know when to keep my scope securely in its holster.
Get your colonoscopy at The Center for Digestive Health Endoscopy Center!
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• State of the art endoscopy center
• Caring nurses dedicated to you
• Easy and convenient parking
• No hospital admissions or check-in
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Special Medical Interest(s):
• Abdominal Pain
• Colon Cancer Prevention
• Constipation/Diarrhea Disorders
• Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis
• GERD/Heartburn/Acid Reflux
• Irritable Bowel Disease
• Liver Disease & Hepatitis