Patient Doctor Relationship Spanning a Decade

On the occasion of National Doctors’ day 2021, Here is a captivating story portraying how our physicians go the extra mile for their patients.
By Dr.Yewondwossen Tadesse, former Ethiopian Medical Association President and current Co-chair-Standing Comitee on Medical care (EMA-SCoMC)

MT is a 30-year-old man that I first saw in February 2011 when he was referred to me with a diagnosis of end stage kidney disease (ESKD). M was trying to learn the ropes of being a tour guide in his birthplace, the historic city of Lalibela, when symptoms of ESKD appeared ‘out of the blue’.

The diagnosis was devastating to him and the family but with immense support from their community they were able to raise funds for his treatment. His younger brother volunteered to be a kidney donor and I facilitated the kidney transplantation In India for M from end to end.

M came back from India following his ‘second lease in life’ full of energy to compensate for lost time. He has subsequently become a licensed tour operator and is married with two children. He has been fortunate to enjoy excellent health through all these years. M is compliant with his medications and does the required follow up tests periodically.

All through the years I have been available for him 24/7, responding to phone calls, text messages whenever he needed any medical help. M consults me literally about everything. He does not take any additional medications without consulting me, does not agree to procedures from tooth extraction to…. etc. Over the years he has become like a younger brother to me and his quarterly or semiannual visits to me go beyond clinical care. We talk about his family, his job, his ambition to expand his tour business, to the holy places of Lalibela and beyond. I have had a long-standing invitation for me and my wife to visit Lalibela that I have yet to respond to.

Working as a clinician is a humbling and gratifying exercise every single day. What job gives more satisfaction than being a doctor ….? healing and restoring the health of a person when the circumstances allow and being the source of comfort and solace to patients and family when the outcome is expected to be poor?

Yewondwossen Tadesse MD
Consultant Nephrologist
Tikur Anbessa Hospital
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences
Addis Ababa University