I think I will call the pathologist this morning. By the way...while I may be working outside the normal lines and boundaries with physicians, always remember that there are two people on your team whom you never see that are great information resources: the pathologist and the radiologist. These two sub specialties have loads of information beyond that which you may get from your physician. You can always request their notes and often times may speak with them directly if you are dealing with a patient care centered hospital. (Most hospitals, sadly, are not based on a patient centered care philosophy.)
That philosophy entails the recognition that the patient is an integral part of the care team. That means, you have access to all information and are very much a part of the decision making process. We are lucky to have a hospital run by a CEO (and physician) who does have that philosophy. He had a very bad accident that has left him a paraplegic (for now.) He became a patient at his own medical center and as a result is acutely aware of the interactions that the medical team has with the patients. The point is that many things changed in that hospital.
I experienced first hand those changes last Friday when I underwent that surgery for tumor removal:
- My surgeon called me the day before the surgery to find out if I had any remaining questions (who has ever heard of surgeon doing that?)
- upon admission, every single person shook my hand and introduced themselves and welcomed me to the hospital.
- At lunch, I was not too kean on the food and one of the nurses offered to share their lunch with me
- After recovery, even though this robotic surgery was day surgery, they moved me to a private room when giving me the preliminary news that I had cancer.
- As a result of us discussing the hip and its potential implications requiring certain tests, the pathologist was brought into my room to discuss the testing with me. She mentioned that she started a program to become more interactive with the patients.
- On a prior trip to the sister hospital, I was able to make an appointment to meet with my radiologist went the medical team recommended working with an interventional radiologist to get some tumor samples from a tricky area.
- When I was admitted to the floor for an over nite stay post surgery (that stay was unplanned), I was taken to a private room with an introduction from the nurses telling me that I would not be awakened all nite for tests. They had a "quite time" policy that precluded all of that.
- When the nursing shift changed, I was told I would be introduced by my current nurse to the new nurse.
I feel the radiologist and the pathologist are key members of your medical team because they see the hip images (radiologist) and the tissue samples (pathologist) from the surgery. At the very, very least, you should request the path notes and the radiology notes along with the notes from your surgery from your ortho. surgeon.