My Patients and I: What did I Learn From My Patients

My Patients and I: What did I Learn From My Patients
Dr. Spasoje M. Neskovic Geriatrician Burbank, CA

Dr. Spasoje M Neskovic MD is a top Geriatrician in Burbank, . With a passion for the field and an unwavering commitment to their specialty, Dr. Spasoje M Neskovic MD is an expert in changing the lives of their patients for the better. Through their designated cause and expertise in the field, Dr. Spasoje M Neskovic MD... more

The wise and beautiful thoughts that I heard from my patients

Note: for publishing purposes, first names were changed due to patient confidentiality reasons.

For the last 40 years of being a family medicine physician, I met many patients, wonderful and wise people, and I learned a lot from them. I have learned that all people are equal because we all have a unique, human soul! Regardless of the different skin color, different eye color, different languages and different accents, we all have the same human soul. I touched and opened the heart of every one of my patients, as they all touched my heart. But I must tell you that in this long medical practice, I met only one patient with whom I could not work. It happened 15 years ago. I saw that African American patient twice in my office in Glendale, California. He was about 30 years old, he looked very "dark" and refrained and never looked directly at me during the conversation. During this first visit, I felt a fear and I had an unpleasant feeling while I was trying to talk to him and to examine him. He was very "cold", he hardly was talking and he never gave me a concrete answer. At one point, it passed through my head that I am talking to a serial killer. A week later, that same patient returned, I again tried to establish contact with him and begin to develop that special relationship between a doctor and a patient. I was not successful. He refused to tell me anything about his personal life and his family history, which I had to know in order to make a correct diagnosis. It was strange, but also scary. I tried to help him the best I could, but again I failed. I often think about this unfortunate human being and I'm sorry that I could not get closer to him and help him a little better. In my opinion, even if he was really a serial killer, he deserved medical care just like any other patient of mine.

This really was a tough medical case that left a trace in my soul. Luckily, I don’t have many patients like him. My patients are good, smart, educated and lovable people. So, I would like to tell you something that I heard and learned from my good patients. I promise, it will be beautiful, wise and joyful:

1. One of my elderly male patients, originally from Serbia, told me: "To make a mistake is human, to forgive is Godly, and it's a smart thing not to make the same mistake again."

2. Another man told me the following: "Men think differently than women! Women think more like cats do, and men think more like dogs do. "T his statement reminds me of a joke I recently heard: "Cats think they are better than humans and looking down on people, dogs think that people are better than them and look up, and pigs think they are the same as humans."

3. One lady once told me: "Today I am in my element, my doctor, and I know everything about this topic!" She was very confident at that moment, and she thought she was much better than I was on the subject. My comment: I've always loved to meet smart and wise people, and to learn something from them. But, I must admit that I love most of those good, free and simple people, because they always give me lots of love. In return, I'm trying to help these people always the best that I can. When the Holy Bishop Nikolai was asked about education and educated people, he said: "The one who has a face is educated!" So, all these schools and our knowledge are less important, it is important to be good, worthy and honest person, and have a face! "Our beloved Patriarch Pavle said all this in just two words: 'Let's Be Good People!'”

4. A Spanish lady told me: "When someone obese says that he wants to lose weight, this is said in a wrong way. The main thing is not only that these people look nice because they are skinny, but rather they look and feel healthy. “ My comment would be: Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and our body should be beautiful and healthy. When we live a healthy life, then we will have a healthy weight and we will look nice.

5. Romina, the 97-year-old Cuban lady said when I first met her: "Doctor, do not ever put me in a nursing home because I don’t want to go there and because I don’t belong there! I'm young in my soul, and I'm not the material for the nursing home!" When I heard that, I immediately recognized a person who was similar to me, I saw a young woman, so I told her, "Mrs. Romina, I agree with you 100%, and I understand you because I do not want to go to any kind of a nursing home either."

6. Ashley, my 85-year-old patient from Belgrade, told me, "Doctor, I am now just like an old Cadillac car that has crossed over 500,000 miles."

7. Nicole, my 80-year-old female patient, a good Christian, told me, "The poorest person in the world is the one whose soul is poor and empty as a dark cave. The good soul is the Holy Spirit, who is hearing God, my good doctor!" My grandmother Kovinka agreed that this is true and beautifully said!

8. A husband told me about his problematic marriage: "I think that good marriage is based on mutual respect, love and trust. I think that my wife has a problem. She makes me to go with her to see a counselor and a psychologist, but I do not want to go. Why? Because I know my wife very well. She will only try to change me, and she will continue to live her life her way. She will not accept the advice that she is going to get from the counselor, and she will not respect the rules of mutual respect, love and trust."

9. Roberto, a native of Brazil, is a good father and once told his son: "Dear son, you have always full freedom with me, but if you start to lie or conceal the truth, you lose that freedom; and the worst of all, you will lose my trust and my respect. And my dear son, the same rule applies to me and to all other people."

10. Lady Nicole also said to me: "My dead relatives are calling me to join them." I am dealing with the same thoughts with my mother in slightly different way. She says that she did everything she needed and that she was ready to "travel." I understand them. I believe that human life is a gift from the God, and that the life should be lived to the very last day.

11. In contrast to the above-mentioned deep thinking about life and death, one lucky patient told me the following: "Doctor, I do not take any medication or any drugs, and I'm just happy and cheerful because I am getting messages and good vibrations from my good life." My comment was: "My dear patient, I am also happy and cheerful like you and I look forward to life just like you! We are related souls, we were born to think and live our lives in a happy manner."

12. It is interesting that I have heard the same thought many times from different patients: "Doctor, you were born with that doctoral genome!" My comment was always: "Yes, from early childhood I always wanted to be a family doctor.” It would be great that every person, from early childhood knows what she or he wants to be and to do. But, unfortunately, many people are foolishly wandering and never fulfilling their potential that God has given them. But it's never too late to start doing what you love and what you are gifted for! And the old saying goes: "It's never too late to love!"

13. One wise patient told me, "When you do something important, always be 100% dedicated to it and focused on it, and do not think of an outcome. That means do not worry about what will happen at the end, be focused and devoted to the process.”