As a doctor and patient talk to each other, their speech bubbles also embrace each other with heart symbols.

A Slice of Nice Makes a Mile of Smiles

As we move throughout our day-to-day lives, we come in contact with dozens of people. Aside from our daily job and career, we dine in at restaurants, pull up next to someone at a traffic light, go grocery shopping, and make phone calls to others.

Living and growing up in the South, my mom and dad always had that knack for treating others with southern hospitality. My dad was the ultimate southern gentleman. He never met a stranger. My dad would wave when passing others, nod his head, or show his pearly white teeth with a simple smile. To my dad, these were nonverbal forms of communication that showed acknowledgement for people he encountered.

Finding doctors with southern hospitality

After my dad’s prostate cancer diagnosis, as a family we aimed to find medical staff and doctors that exhibited the same sort of southern hospitality.

We wanted doctors who made efforts to treat their patients like family, rather than just a number. We wanted doctors who spent more time in the exam room than just the time it takes to check your temperature. We wanted doctors who gave solutions to the problems that truly exist.

My dad was referred to a urologist and oncologist here in Atlanta, Georgia. The referrals were based on experiences that my dad’s family friends had. I had to see this for myself, so I made sure to take the time off from work so that I could attend my dad’s next doctors visit with these two individuals. Both of his appointments were set up to be on the same day.

A warm greeting

The day arrived, and it was time to make our descent to the offices. My energy was already on high alert. One, because I am a daddy’s girl, and I had to make sure these doctors were going to give my hero, my daddy, the best care possible. And two, because we were referred for specific reasons.

We entered the office and were welcomed with a smile and warm greeting, and got daddy signed in. We waited no more than 5 or 10 minutes to see the doctor.

Giving us her undivided attention

The hospitality continued once we were inside the examination room. The doctor walked in, introduced herself, and gave what I call an OREO method of delivery. She started with a bit of good news, then delivered a bit of bad news, and followed by news with a plan of action.

After she conversed and gave her spill, she sat down and asked if we had any questions about anything. The fact that she sat down to make herself comfortable made me feel at ease. She didn’t seem to be in a rush and gave her undivided attention to us in that very moment.

A prayer for us

However, the biggest part of the visit that almost knocked me off my feet was the actions the doctor took prior to our departure from the exam room. She asked my mom, dad, and myself to join hands right where we were sitting. I thought more bad news would be told. That wasn’t the case at all.

She bowed her head and began to pray over us. She prayed over my mom and me as daddy’s caregivers, and she prayed over my dad for a journey of health and remission. I thought, ahhhhh, this is the real reason we were referred to this practice!

Feeling supported

I honestly never knew doctors like this ever existed. I had never seen anything like this. Support doesn’t just come from people you know, like a wife or children. It comes full circle when you have doctors who care for you in the same manner that your family does.

I knew then my dad would be in good hands. After all, a smile, kind gesture, and prayer are something insurance can’t buy.

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