I read with interest Dr Richardson’s article about attitude [BCMJ 2009;51:380]. By a coincidence I experienced both, the attitude he describes, and the attitude he wishes would prevail.
A few years ago I had surgery at Langley Memorial Hospital; it happened to be Christmastime. My experience was bad right from the start. As Dr Richardson describes: staff were hurried, uninterested, curt, sometimes rude, and lacking in sympathy.
The only exception was my surgeon and an internist who saw me later for a complication. What a difference at VGH (and the Cancer Centre) where I had surgery a few years earlier. During the admission and my whole stay, I never encountered an unfriendly person. The admission was remarkably well organized and quick, the post-op and ward staff were always helpful, friendly and caring.
Dr Richardson asks why poor attitude is present. The answer is simple: there is lack of leadership by the medical staff and administration.
—E. Pankratz, MD
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