Posted by: Leah | August 13, 2011


It is funny how quickly I absorbed many things in the Toronto culture – when I just arrived in Toronto from Moscow everything seemed so close to me  – to go to Mississauga – no problem, Scarborough -sure, Richmond Hill – of course. Now just recently I was offered a meetup in Scarborough and I was like – you want me to go WHERE???? Oh, no that is too FAR!

The same applies to how I perceive healthcare. When I just arrived – doctors seemed to be angels to me. First of all, they did not imply I had a blood cancer everytime my blood formula was a bit off, secondly, there was an eye contact, thirdly, they almost always said I was in a good health, even when I was on the brink of kindney failure, the doc said – you are in a good health (what???? if I had had any energy at that time I would have fallen out of my hospital bed – you must be joking doc, right?), you will make it thorough. He was right though. I did.

Now, you know what? I am not quite sure about healthcare. Well, of course North American healthcare is very very solid compared to Eastern Europen (eeeeeeeeek), but what we lack here is doctors talking to you. Yes, yes, I mean it – using words and most importantly ears. If they used this technique more, they would be able to diagnoze better. I am a firm believer in doctors sitting down with you and asking – so what is happening with you these days? Does it happenin Canada at all? Nope. Wait, sorry, on the second thought, it happened with me when there was a snowstorm and my doctor was kind’a running low on patients, and we had such a nice conversation that I was like – whoaaa he is such a nice guy.

The art of listening for family doctors is on the brink of extinct; the art of writing down is already extinct. Nothing drives me crazier when I have to repeat something or remind doctors what really happened. Like helloooooo why did not you write it down? It might be really important for my diagnosis and such.

I do hope that old school doctors won’t just disappear like mammoths but will be able to pass the art of talking to a patient. It feels nice when you understand a doctor cares enough to listen to you. Amen.


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