We all want to live a healthy and productive life and take care of ourselves, but that doesn’t always mean we enjoy going to the doctor. In fact, if you’re like me, you might have grown up rarely going to the doctor and that’s carried over some into adulthood. Whatever your past experience, a doctor’s visit is one of the most important and vulnerable exchanges we can have, and because of that, it matters how that visit goes.
This year, I’ve had the opportunity to work with the Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC) through a new partnership with Waco Family Medicine. The PFAC is a representative group of patients and family members of patients who serve to advise Waco Family Medicine on how to improve patient-centered care. Members share about their experiences within the network and offer suggestions on how to make improvements at each meeting. Over the last several months, I’ve facilitated the PFAC meetings for Waco Family Medicine and I’ve learned two important things over that time period. One, patients mostly love being a patient at Waco Family Medicine. They love their doctors; they’re grateful for the care they receive from the staff; and they appreciate the mission of Waco Family Medicine. And second, patients deserve to be a part of the team and have wonderful ideas to contribute when they’re asked. The PFAC members enjoy gathering around the table; they appreciate that their experiences are heard; and they always have practical solutions to any concerns that are shared. They are valuable members of the team.
This second lesson is perhaps an important one for all of us to learn. We have people across our community whose experiences across a variety of areas need to be heard and need to be learned from. I for one am grateful for the partnership with Waco Family Medicine and the lessons I’m learning from their PFAC members.
– Josh Caballero