Palmes-Dennis: Angels as doctors

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By Susan Palmes-Dennis

Straight from Carolinas

Sunday, July 27, 2014


ANGELS do come in whatever form to our lives.

My recent experience with my granddaughter Susane Lorete Palmes showed that angels also come wearing the crisp, white uniforms of doctors.

I'm talking about doctors who take active roles in caring for their patients like my granddaughter Susane who got sick with dengue recently.

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Like Dr. Roque Patriana, the pediatrician of my grandchildren Christian Mejorada, Susane and Arianne Jaden Baesas.

Dr. Patriana works at Sabal hospital which should be proud of him as he represents the best things about the institution. Then again, the institution doesn't reflect on the individual doctors who must earn their reputation through the care they give to their patients. Dr. Patriana was recommended by my younger sister Aida Pacana (congratulations to her for being the new principal at Rizal High School at Claveria town after her 20 years at Misamis Oriental General High School or MOGHS).

Dr. Patriana is the doctor of her two boys Matmat and Macoy and the kids of nephews and nieces including the kids of Ezrah Eslabon (Bitoy and Diday).

The good doctor is a byword to the family in child care. There were several times in the past when I would be with the mothers of my grandchildren and I'm still astonished that he can remember all their names.

Dr. Patriana is really an angel, a soft spoken soul that can make kids feel at ease, and compassionate, patient and fully empathizes with the concerns of his patients and their families.

I talked to him over the phone last week when Little Susie was confined at the intensive care unit of Sabal hospital and explained her condition to me. He listened well and offered me advice and that was so caring of him, I told myself.

I think I overheard my daughter Honey saying that “Dr. Patriana's concern is always in dealing well with his little patients.” One could just imagine that if one has fever you can text him right away and he would answer. This is seldom done by doctors, though I knew a few like Dr. Caroline Orimaco who would do the same.

There was a time I knew Honey was texting Dr. Patriana on what to do about Christian aka Sam who at that time had asthma attack. And true enough, the caring doctor would answer.

In this society now where privacy is now becoming an issue, professionals like doctors tend to distance themselves from the patients for all the reasons they can justify. Or other doctors would just use distance to justify their need for privacy and ignore their patients because they don’t care at all or they could be tired.

But not with Dr. Roque who grew up with the kids under his care through the years and it is amazing.

If he's a gardener, I can see that he has tended his garden well. You can see the long queues from the morning through early evening outside his clinic at Sabal Hospital down Apolinar Velez street in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines.

A pediatrician is a doctor who treats children from birth to about 19 years of age. Trainings for pediatricians vary across the world.

Dr. Patriana's training shows that he empowers and cares for his patients. I don’t know much about Dr. Patriana, only that he is married to a gynecologist, who like him is very accommodating.

I remembered inviting her for an interview and even if she was unable to make it, she did send a message to me explaining that she had prior engagements.

Dr. Patriana's care of little Susie shows the standard by which all doctors must adhere to. It should be absolute for all doctors, some of whom have become uncaring due to a lot of factors.

God speed Dr. Roque Patriana!

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 27, 2014.

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