Socks

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I see a lot of diabetic patients and have to check their feet regularly.  Sometimes they are on the exam table with their shoes on and I realize they need them off.  In this situation I make a point to help them take off their shoes and socks before the exam, and help them put them back on after the exam.

I feel like this is a reminder to me that I am serving the patient.  I am there for them – not the reverse.  It is my way of acting like Christ did when he washed his disciples\’ feet.  It isn\’t clean and isn\’t always pleasant, but it is humble and I think it builds trust.

Yesterday I had finished with a foot exam on a patient and started to help her put on her socks.

\”I can do that,\” she said to me.

\”No, that\’s all right.  I am good at putting on socks.  I do it every day.\”

She looked over at the sandals on my feet – the ones I wear nearly every day – and laughed, \”I don\’t think I have ever seen you wearing socks.\”

13 thoughts on “Socks”

  1. Dr Rob, I agree with you. There is something so “serving” about helping a patient put their footwear back on. I actually like doing it.

  2. Dr Rob, I agree with you. There is something so “serving” about helping a patient put their footwear back on. I actually like doing it.

  3. Socks | Musings of a Distractible Mind…
    I see a lot of diabetic patients and have to check their feet regularly. Sometimes they are on the exam table with their shoes on and I realize they need them off. In this situation I make a point to help them take off their shoes and socks before th…

  4. I do believe, this is one of the most precious posts, I’ve read, on any blog in the 4 years I’ve been reading blogs.

  5. I do believe, this is one of the most precious posts, I’ve read, on any blog in the 4 years I’ve been reading blogs.

  6. I love checking feet too Dr. Rob! But only if they have a nice arch, recent pedicure, and…oops, revealing a little too much. O.K., I’ve helped patients take their shoes off too, but only to speed up the process, and would never think to brag about it. In fact, its sort of a mini-neurologic exam having someone take off and re-tie their shoes, testing cortical, brainstem, cerebellar,, and posterior columns, while saving yourself exposure to their podiatric flora.

  7. I love checking feet too Dr. Rob! But only if they have a nice arch, recent pedicure, and…oops, revealing a little too much. O.K., I’ve helped patients take their shoes off too, but only to speed up the process, and would never think to brag about it. In fact, its sort of a mini-neurologic exam having someone take off and re-tie their shoes, testing cortical, brainstem, cerebellar,, and posterior columns, while saving yourself exposure to their podiatric flora.

  8. How sweet! 🙂
    Funny comment by pt and the irony of you always wearing sandals yet saying you’re good at putting socks on. Too funny! 🙂

    Rob.. I am sorry but I don’t like these word captchas. Can’t always get them right and give up.

  9. How sweet! 🙂
    Funny comment by pt and the irony of you always wearing sandals yet saying you’re good at putting socks on. Too funny! 🙂

    Rob.. I am sorry but I don’t like these word captchas. Can’t always get them right and give up.

  10. some dude named steevo

    Great post and I can relate to the feeling of “serving” a patient. There is just one problem; I hate feet, especially toes. It is my least favorite part of the body. I would rather drain a thrombosed hemorrhoid than remove an ingrown nail. I don’t know what I would do without podiatrists!
    I do remember once when I was a third year student on surgery rounds, I got a patient a glass of water. He was pretty sick and thirsty, and he asked me if I could get him a drink (no, he wasn’t NPO). Well, we got out of the room and the third year resident chewed me out, he said I wasn’t supposed to do things like that. Well, just last week one of my patients asked for a drink of water. Even though I have been an attending for several years, I still think about that third year resident everytime a patient asks me for a drink of water. Well, I still get them one. What do third year surgery residents know about being human anyway? Haha!

  11. some dude named steevo

    Great post and I can relate to the feeling of “serving” a patient. There is just one problem; I hate feet, especially toes. It is my least favorite part of the body. I would rather drain a thrombosed hemorrhoid than remove an ingrown nail. I don’t know what I would do without podiatrists!
    I do remember once when I was a third year student on surgery rounds, I got a patient a glass of water. He was pretty sick and thirsty, and he asked me if I could get him a drink (no, he wasn’t NPO). Well, we got out of the room and the third year resident chewed me out, he said I wasn’t supposed to do things like that. Well, just last week one of my patients asked for a drink of water. Even though I have been an attending for several years, I still think about that third year resident everytime a patient asks me for a drink of water. Well, I still get them one. What do third year surgery residents know about being human anyway? Haha!

  12. Good story, Steevo. When I was a third year med student on a surgical rotation, I got yelled at by the intern for lagging behind on rounds because I was talking to the patient. The intern told me, “We don’t talk to patients. That’s what internists do!”
    *sigh* I knew there was a reason I went into primary care… 🙂

  13. Good story, Steevo. When I was a third year med student on a surgical rotation, I got yelled at by the intern for lagging behind on rounds because I was talking to the patient. The intern told me, “We don’t talk to patients. That’s what internists do!”
    *sigh* I knew there was a reason I went into primary care… 🙂

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