My patient and his wife didn't understand that an anesthesiologist is a physician, despite his having been cared for by anesthesiologists during past procedures. They thought only CRNAs give anesthesia. What are we doing so wrong with our messaging, and how can we fix it?
One recent afternoon in the GI endoscopy suite (not my favorite place to work, but that's a topic for another day), I walked up to the bedside of my next patient and introduced myself as I always do.
“Hi,” I said, holding up my name badge for the patient and his wife to see. “I'm Dr. Sibert. I'm with the anesthesiology department and I'll be looking after you today.”
The patient was an otherwise healthy man in his mid-30s, having his fifth endoscopy this year for a chronic though serious problem. My questions were few and he understood very well what was about to happen....