Philadelphia Medicine Spring 2020 - 19

p h i l a m e d s o c .o rg

Freedom to Flourish

The interventional cardiologist in Philadelphia was able to repair
one coronary artery, but the other blockage in the LED vessel (yes,
the widow maker) had calcified too much for a stent. I would need
cardiac bypass surgery. This was unbelievable to me. And I would
have to wait two long weeks for the anti-coagulant effect of the
Brilanta to wear off before I could undergo bypass surgery.
While I anxiously waited for the big day, I was calling either my
cardiologist, surgeon, or his nurse practitioner almost daily with
questions and concerns, after all, this was a life threatening and
momentous event in my life.
Thankfully, I was met with great patience, understanding, and
promptness of detailed answers and explanations by all involved with
my cardiac care. The reactions of the staff made me mindful of the
importance of really hearing my patients' concerns and addressing
their issues in a prompt, nonjudgmental, patient, and genuine
manner. Gratefully, my robotic cardiac bypass surgery on March 26,
2019 went very well, and I am now back to work, playing tennis,
jogging slowly, and riding my stationary bike.
Although I had always thought of myself as a warm, caring and
empathetic psychiatrist, my experience as a cardiac patient made me
realize that there is always room for improvement in treating my
patients.
Remember, every doctor will become a patient
one day, and the reality of illness, injury, and
mortality may really hit you hard, as it did me.
You may not receive any prioritized treatment
and you will know what it feels like to be helpless,
vulnerable and at the mercy of a physician
while you regress in the service of the ego and
become a patient.
You can be a better doctor now if you
are mindful that whatever the physical,
emotional, or mental issue facing your
patient, the problem may be catastrophic to
them. They need your undivided attention.
Any problem is a significant event to your
presenting patient. Really listen to his or
her concerns or questions and address every one

An age 3 through Grade 12 Quaker School in Jenkintown.

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with patience, understanding and accurate information. Be genuine,
empathetic and nonjudgmental toward your patient so he or she
will be open and honest with you. if you follow these lessons, which
I learned the hard way, you can become a better doctor.
The happy ending to this my story is that just six months after
a heart attack with stents and robotic bypass surgery, my daughter
Julia Cohen and I won the USTA National Father and Daughter
Clay Court Championships in Florida! *
Dr. Cohen is married with two grown children. He is chief
resident at Albert Einstein Medical Center,
Board Certified in Psychiatry and
Neurology. He has been in private
practice in psychiatry for more than
35 years. He has been a nationally
ranked tennis player from age 12 to
the present. He was captain of the
University of Pennsylvania tennis team
and was ranked #1 in tennis in the
Middle States Section and in the country
in various categories and times. He was
inducted into the Philadelphia Jewish
Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.

Spring 2020 : Philadelphia Medicine 19


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Philadelphia Medicine Spring 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Philadelphia Medicine Spring 2020

Philadelphia Medicine Spring 2020 - 1
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/PCMS_Philadelphia_Medicine/PhiladelphiaMedicine_Fall2021
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/PCMS_Philadelphia_Medicine/PhiladelphiaMedicineWinterSpring2021
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