No Two Patients Are Alike

By Matthew Myatt, MD graduate
March 17, 2011

Part of my training during St. George’s University’s Master of Public Health Program (MPH) was to spend almost a year in Ontario, Canada educating parents about the then new human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination From the very beginning, our biggest challenge was getting parents to learn about the benefits of the HPV vaccine. Most parents were so concerned that the vaccine promoted sexual behavior among adolescents that they were unwilling to pay attention to the numerous reasons why their child should receive the vaccine. I soon realized that even though the vaccine was at the center of an extremely heated debate, many parents weren’t clear on its purpose, including its role in preventing the viruses that lead to common cancers.

Out of the hundreds of parents I spoke with, no one had the exact same anxieties about the vaccine. At first I found my task nearly impossible but I quickly recognized that in order to successfully inform the population of Ontario, I needed to relate to each parent on a case-by-case basis, making sure their individual concerns were addressed.

This is a skill I learned while at St. George’s and have maintained through my career as Chief Resident of Community Medicine in Northern Ontario. The invaluable lesson I took away from my time in the MPH program is that in public health, the public is the patient and in medicine, no two patients are alike. As a public health practitioner we must be able to adapt our methodologies, making sure to treat every patient individually, only then can we positively impact the larger population.

nivo slider image nivo slider image nivo slider image nivo slider image nivo slider image nivo slider image nivo slider image
Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
This entry was posted in Students Experience and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.