Robert W. Pollack, M.D. CEO is a Florida-licensed Board Certified Psychiatrist. He has been in practice since 1977 and has served the public in many capacities. He has been granted Life Fellow status by the American Psychiatric Association Board of Trustees, January 1, 2015.
It Runs in the Family: Maintaining an Unparalleled Standard of Excellence in Medicine for Generations
A Letter Uncovered in 2018 from George Pollack, MD (Father of Robert W. Pollack, MD) Written: 9/23/75
What has my 36 years of clinical medicine taught me?
How can I improve the approach of eager youth to be a better doctor?
Is it not more important to know what sort of man has the disease than what sort of disease the man has?
Let us look at the entire man – his elementary embryology that nudges us to look at the anatomy pictures again to refresh our cerebral cortex – than better able to fathom the difficult x-rays. Then adding to the embryological finished picture the psyche (the multiple cells with its DNA and 3 framed pictures) or patient’s feeling, his reactions to life and thereby attempt to assess his personality.
May it not be easier to assess the patient who one week has headaches – 3 weeks chest pain – 6 weeks stomach ache when treatment of underlying personality disorder is begging to be done.
The so-called sickness may be attempts to escape unpleasant situations for which they have ‘legitimate’ excuses for failures or other unpleasantries. (Inorganic not organic & nobody dares criticize!) This will lead the doctor of the ‘God Syndrome’ to realize the function of the illness for the patient, not the pathological nonentity!
No doubt the physician will have to receive some training in a medical facility though it will help but not expected to be the complete answer.
This will profess the gynecologist to understand emotional causes of gynecological illness – the G.I. to learn the emotional causation of disease of G. I. travails – the chest man the underlying problem of chronic asthma – the rheumatologist the exacerbation of arthritic disease – the cardiologist the defense /aggressive show concerning the cardiac invalid vs. family – etc.
For to look at the problem of medicine honestly – we know that acute leukemia in the best of control extends to +/- 24 months, the oncologist with no metastases has a chance but with 2 organ involvement (glands, etc.), the result is poor – the blood man requires separate technique to evaluate difficult blood problems i.e. Ferguson’s disease, the cardiologist is as good as the patient’s myocardium, the neurologist as extensive/little sign of location of blood clot.
This removes the veil of ignorance and makes us conscience of the truth or reality that patient’s personality must face and we must help him face, so that he can live ‘normally’ with others around him.
So may I suggest that all practitioners of medicine attempt to practice psychiatry of sorts, remove the blindness from our eyes and really help the stricken, be it organic or inorganic without the fear of God Almighty.
Please do not think that I am belittling physical diagnosis/therapy for 36 years. I taught and practiced it, but now I see that in the shadow lurked the patient who though not organically inflicted wants medical attention to attain a semblance of normal behavior!
Always look at the entire patient – then treat like a full organism not microcosm of humanity. This may appear like bedside manner but add knowledge and kindness to such therapy and mayhaps, pleasant lives may evolve and in these pleasures, we will too begin to lose that worried look and too have pleasures in our accomplishing real humanisms and so shed the look of righteousness and gain digestion of joy of knowledge and advance biologically and mentally.
Bare in mind that though we have daily advances in medicine, new antibiotics, new therapies, new surgeries, the volume of man having sickness is still not one whit decreased. We are still curing disease not total patient function to total patient fruition. (Forget the unfortunate acute oncology, heredity, traumatic, miserable metabolic disease, make them able to obtain some happiness, but above all emphasize the unfortunate who can be returned to total serenity vs. reality!)
Do not forget the human being for desire to know about the ultra-filter microscope or its equivalent!!
– George Pollack, MD 1975