In Springfield, MO there’s a family physician, will call Bill, who is incredibly good at his job. Bill truly loves the families he serves. Yes, the work is difficult at times and grueling in the hours. But he feels fully alive doing the work he knows God has called him to do. It brings him the greatest joy to be a blessing to the families he serves when they are facing difficulty and struggle in their bodies.
One day a very concerned mom brought her infant son into Bill’s office. The mother couldn’t sleep and was worried sick over her son. He couldn’t sleep or eat, his skin had broken out in ugly rashes, his mouth, throat and bottom were red and incredibly painful to the touch. The child was miserable and failing to gain weight. The situation was very serious.
Bill brought all his medical training and years of experience in the practice of medicine to bear on the case. He asked the right questions, ruled out the most likely causes, and gave the mother the immediate steps to take to make sure the child was getting the care he needed to sustain life while they troubleshot the problem.
As a primary care physician, Bill received training in medical school to address the broad spectrum of ills that face the human body. In his practice week to week he addresses 80% of the problems that face the families he serves. In any given week he treats dozens of different presenting issues with a variety of different treatment approaches, depending on the need.
In some situations however , roughly 2 in 10, what the patient needs goes beyond the amount of time Bill has to spend. Some cases need significantly more attention, but there’s no way for him to give that attention, and still care for the needs of the rest of the families he serves. And, because the 2,000+ hours he spends each year treating medical concerns are spread across hundreds of diagnoses, his experience in treating more rare or acute cases is limited.
Fortunately for Bill, and the families he serves, within the medical community there are specialist who spend their 2,000+ hours of practice each year focused on just a handful or even 1 area of medicine. With so many hours spent researching, studying, and working with such a narrow array of presenting issues – these specialist are able to very quickly recognize what’s going on with a patient and derive a course of treatment that will provide what the patients need. And, since they work with a lot less patients, are able to give the time and attention each needs to reach their goals.
Dr. Susan at Kansas City’s Childrens’ hospital is such a specialist. Bill was familiar with Susan from interactions with her at a professional conference she presented at.
Bill new that best thing he could do for this little boy, and his overwhelmed mother, is to refer them to Susan. Susan would know the right questions to ask to create a plan of action that would tailor to specific needs of the boy. Working together they could figure out what was going on, the family could receive the help they needed, and Bill could care for both them and the other families that depended on him.
Thanks to Bills professional training and wise discernment, he was able to connect the family with the care they needed. It’s scary facing a challenge like that, but the trusted relationship they had with Bill made it easier.
With the help of Bill, Susan, and others that were a part of the journey, Ben, the boy, is now about to start kindergarten and you would never know he was ever any different than other rough and tumble young boys.
Thanks to Bill and the team, and a LOT of hard work on the parents part, what could have been at worst a fatal condition, at best an extremely debilitating one has been avoided.