The other night my phone rang at 1:30am. It’s always a bit disconcerting to hear the phone ringing in the middle of the night. Your initial thoughts are always fear of bad news about someone near and dear to you.
Fortunately, this particular phone call was from a patient who was quite concerned about a dental infection. Whenever I receive a phone call in the middle of the night; which, by the way, happens extremely infrequently, I always have several thoughts that go through my mind. First and foremost, I feel gratitude towards the patient who feels comfortable enough with our doctor-patient relationship that they feel they can call me anytime, day or night, when they have a serious need. Secondly, I feel tremendous empathy towards this patient in serious need. I know they can’t sleep and they need help.
We were able to resolve the serious dental infection causing one of my “family of patients” to worry and lose sleep that night. I’m grateful he felt comfortable calling me in the middle of the night and my sincere desire is that each and every one of my dear patients feels the same level of comfort.