Menu Close

The news heard ’round the world…

This post is one day behind. I had been mid-writing when my oldest son was transported by ambulance to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.  I really enjoyed writing it, and wanted to still share it with you.

NHBPM (Day 6): “News-style post.






OTTAWA, ONTARIO – In a surprising upheaval in the healthcare world, there has been public consideration that patients with afflictions of ANY kind can, in fact, have a good rapport with their physicians…primary care or specialist.

The long-held belief that doctors simply do not care about their patients is finally being challenged by one proponent of health activism from Ottawa, Ontario.  The Daily Times had the opportunity to discover Ms. Hultquist, aka, @ChronicBadass, who is currently outlining several ways in which patients can, at the very least, dramatically improve their interpersonal relationships with their physicians.

“I’ve established a really wonderful rapport with my healthcare team by doing what I believe every patient on the planet should engage in…adequate personal health reporting.”

When asked to define her reference to “adequate personal health reporting,” Ms. Hultquist continued:

“I think it’s important for people to remember just what the actual jobs of the physician and the patient are.  A physician is someone who is educated, clinically experienced, and licensed to practice medicine.  A patient is someone who is receiving medical treatment.”

Ms. Hultquist concedes that many patients are putting what she believes to be “unrealistic expectations” upon the duties of the physicians as an aggregate.

“I know I’m going to get some flack from the general public, afflicted or not, for saying such a daring statement, but truly…did your primary care physician become a psychiatrist? No.  They are a primary care physician.  General medicine.  It has taken me years of awful experiences to realize AND understand that as much as I really, REALLY want them to understand and listen and care and empathize…they have a job to do and a very limited timeframe within which to do it.”

She goes on to relate how she “evolved” as a patient by taking charge of her time with her healthcare teams by compiling as much factual information as possible, and putting it into a system by which her physicians could quickly and efficiently summarize the circumstances by which she would attend.  She acknowledged that every patient should have the entitlement to a full-scale emotional response from her team but that, in reality, it just doesn’t happen as a status quo.

“My doctor is fabulous. She portions part of her time to hear how my circumstances affect my personal handling of my chronic disease, but I feel that it really began when I started understanding the time constraint placed up her within which she had to 1) remember why I was there (look in the file), 2) digest what events/circumstances had occurred since my last visit and 3) how to manage/deal with the new information.

So, now I print out my blood sugar readings so she can “at-a-glance” at them and put them in my file.  I make a point-form list of what I’m there for, and answer the “What, when, where & why.”

She further states that she’s now included adding two more bullets to her point-form list: “What I’ve done” and “What doesn’t work”.

“I get MUCH better reception if I openly state the active steps that I’ve been taking to improve my conditions.  I’ll tell her that I’ve gone to a yoga class.  Then I’ll tell her that it feels great while doing it, but that it is hard to get up the willpower to attend, and that having to heat-pack afterwards sometimes is a bugger.”

The common theme seems to be that by taking steps to alleviate the information processing by your healthcare teams, you truly can achieve a fluid and dynamic relationship with your healthcare professionals.

“Nothing is impossible,” Ms. Hultquist concludes, “it’s all about showing them (healthcare physicians) that you’re prepared to take extra measures to help their health management suggestions be more effective.”


This post was written for Wego Health’s National Blog Post Month, 2012.


  1. Kate

    Thank you for this post. I know in my field I often have people expecting me to diagnose them. Sometimes a client will complain about a pain but they have no idea about when it started, what helps, what aggravates it, etc – all things that can help me figure out what is wrong (and how to fix it).

    I found that I became a better patient after I learned what and how health care practitioners form their clinical impressions. Knowing the answers that your doctor/health care practitioner will ask you before your appointment can greatly help them do their job. When I was in school they taught us LORD FICARAH:
    L – Location (of pain or discomfort)
    O- Onset (When the pain or discomfort started)
    R- Radiation (of pain)
    D- Duration (How long the pain or discomfort lasts while you are experiencing)
    F- Frequency (How often the pain or discomfort occurs)
    I- Intensity (of pain or discomfort usually on a pain scale of 1-10)
    C- Character (of the pain or discomfort, is it sharp, throbbing, achy, etc)
    A- Aggravating factors (what makes it worse)
    R- Relieving factors (what makes it better)
    A- Associated issues (Do you have any other conditions that may contribute to your concern)
    H- History (is there any history of injury, or family history)

    Long comment is long. >_<

    I think you really hit the nail on the head with this post and I hope it helps others understand that they need to be an active participant in their own health care.

  2. Tracy Thillmann

    You took the words right out of my mouth Kate. Our school also taught us LORD FICARAH, and it is simple way for the RMT to get the pertinent information in a succinct way, without too much time that could better be used assessing, and treating the client. I find I can narrow down what I have to assess using that simple acronym for all the information. I have noticed a huge disparagement in clients though. Some have all the information ready to go with very little prompting, and others who can tell you very little about what is going on.

    As a health care professional, I too have found that I am better informed of my own issues when I go to the doctor, since I know they have even less time with a patient than I do with my clients, they need to have that information available so they can get down to what they do best.

    One note to make is that. No matter how informed you are as a patient sometimes the chemistry isn’t right. I was lucky enough to find a new doctor, after my old one was refusing to anything for me, even when I had done a lot of the homework, and bringing as much information as I could. If finding a new doctor isn’t an option, do your best to get all the information on your end, and then they have no reason to deny you they care/tests/etc that you need because there isn’t enough information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.