I would like to thank Dr. Francisco Cabal – an orthopedic surgeon and director of Clinica del Country/ Hospital de la Mujer. A few nights ago, a Colombian friend was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident – and the worried family asked me for help, so I called Dr. Cabal.
He was absolutely fantastic in making sure the family was up-to-date on the status of their loved one while she was in surgery, addressing all of their concerns and helping to relieve some of their anxiety.
I wanted to be sure to thank him on this (semi-public) forum, because I want readers to realize that medicine here is very different from the United States, in that – most often, if you ask for help; people will go out of their way to provide it. (I suspect given the time of day when I contacted Dr. Cabal – he was probably enjoying a nice supper or time with his family) but he had information for the family in just a few minutes..
Sometimes, at home, (the USA), there is a barrier, or ‘gatekeeping’ that keeps us from our providers – and can make situations like this more difficult. But here in Colombia, as I’ve said before – the doctors give you their cell phone numbers and emails because they want you to call if you have questions or concerns..
And when you do call – you are getting their personal phones, so you won’t be routed to a secretary or left on hold for twenty minutes.. [the only exception is during surgery].
Does this privilege get abused at times? Certainly, which is what makes it more impressive that these doctors stay accessible to their patients. [We’ve all encountered obnoxious customers in all lines of work – medicine and health in no exception.]