Medications: The Good and The Bad

Lesley “Uchechi” Azike is a University of Maryland college student who shadowed at our practice this semester. These are some of her observations.

Today’s experience with Dr. Baksh was more than simply learning about medications and their effects on patients. Rather I witnessed the doctor-patient interaction in the healthcare setting. It was truly a beautiful experience to see the patient have so much trust and confidence for Dr. Baksh. She expressed everything that she was going through freely knowing that she was confiding in someone in whom she trusted and who had her best interest at heart. I think that it is so powerful and important to foster healthy relationships with the patients because it not only makes the job of the physician easier, but it allows them the opportunity to do their job and provide optimal care. The patient was so pleased with the care that Dr Baksh and the Healthy Steps staff has provided, that she even brought a gift to express her gratitude.

In addition to the above observation, we also discussed the importance of educating the patient about medication side effects in order to properly treat the patient. This elder patient requested antibiotics so she could use them if her symptoms were ever to return. Dr. Baksh emphasized to her that, if she had a history of recurrent urinary tract infections, she could provide her with a prescription. However, though she recently THOUGHT she had an infection , “Your urine culture was negative.” Dr. Baksh mentioned how antibiotics are like chemotherapy…replete with side effects, some life threatening. This means physicians and healthcare providers would not have the patient’s best interest at heart “if we nonchalantly prescribe antibiotics (or other medications) without factual data, such as a positive urine culture in this patients case. Overall, it was yet another day filled with meaningful lessons.