Serving the community good

Your infant is running a very high fever and crying incessantly. Your aging father begins to forget familiar names. … Your husband complains that he has chest pains. Your toddler cuts her forehead deeply on the sharp corner of a table. You are feeling depressed and can’t shake it off. What do you do? If you’re like most Americans, you call your doctor.

Since the days of the Hippocratic Oath, the physician has been held in high esteem as healer, trusted confidant and patient advocate. The relationship between physician and patient is invaluable during times of crisis. Technological breakthroughs have done much to advance the science of medicine; however, the patient-physician relationship remains the fundamental tenet of medicine. Patients depend on their doctors.

The American Medical Association states that: “Medicine is a special kind of human activity—one that cannot be pursued effectively without the traits of humility, honesty, intellectual integrity, compassion, and effacement of excessive self-interest. These traits bind physicians to a moral community dedicated to something other than self-interest.” … A Pfizer Medical Humanities Institute study revealed that 80 percent of patients had relationships with their doctors for an average of seven years. And 90 percent reported that they are very satisfied with their relationship with their doctor.

Your doctor does more than keep you healthy. Your doctor works hard to improve the well-being of the community as a whole. Last year alone, Buncombe County Project Access physicians donated over $10 million in free health care to low-income, uninsured residents of our county. As one of our physicians remarked, “As a community, if any part of our community suffers, we all suffer. … We all have an inherent social responsibility to serve the larger community good.” One of the residents who received free health care told us, “When you help one person in need, you open the door for that person to be filled with gratitude and driven to find a way to give back … . The result is a better life and community for all of us.”

March 30 was National Doctor’s Day—a day set aside to show appreciation for the role of America’s physicians as advocates for the well-being of patients, for the health of our community and for the profession of medicine.

The Buncombe County Medical Society would like to recognize the physicians in our community who dedicate their lives to the health and well-being of their patients. We invite you to do the same. Write a note of appreciation to your best health-care advocate, your physician.

— Miriam Schwarz
CEO and Executive Director
Buncombe County Medical Society

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