Clad in hospital gowns and assigned various ailments, six doctors at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital were poked for blood tests and had their vital signs checked regularly when they spent a recent night as patients.
"I think it's a really good experience for us," said Dr. Megan Stone, who was attached to a heart monitor for "a sudden onset of chest pains."
The fake illness was part of a special orientation for resident physicians in the Whittier hospital's Family Practice Residency Program. Six doctors from the program pretended to be patients and stayed overnight Sunday to get a taste of what it's like to be a patient, said Dr. Patti Newton, associate program director of curriculum.
"It will stick in your head if you experience it, rather than hearing a lecture," she said.
But if you really want doctors to have more compassion for patients, make them schedule themselves for an annual physical (without telling anyone they are a doctor) and see what it is like.
But the most effective way to improve healthcare in the US: require the President and all members of Congress to use Medicare.