The Physician And An Emergency Department Essay

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On a busy Monday evening in an emergency department, the physician I worked with started to get a history from our 52-year-old male patient who presented asking for a refill on his pain medication. As more information was revealed, we learned that he had run out of his medication two months ago, and had yet to set up an appointment with his primary care physician. The physician then cut the patient off to bluntly inform him that he needed to make an appointment with his primary care physician as he would not be refilling the prescription due to the department’s policy of not refilling narcotic prescriptions. The patient became very anger then, which prompted the physician to leave the room. As we left the room, the patient started spitting toward us and quickly left the department while swearing at the doctor. Personally, this patient-provider interaction was one of the first major interactions in my life that made me truly start to critically analyze what the term medical professional meant and what their responsibilities consisted of. But before I could deeply analyzing the provider’s behavior and attitude toward the patient in respect to medical professionalism, I needed an accurate definition of medical professionalism to fairly critique the provider’s behavior. So what is a medical professionalism? Medical professionalism is defined by the American Board of Medical Specialists as:

Medical professionalism is a belief system about how best to organize and deliver
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