Provider instinct saves patient from medical scare

Vancouver | August 21, 2017
Patient unknowingly brushes off life-threatening symptoms

Sometimes in life, we stand closer to the edge than we realize and it takes someone else to pull us back from the unknown danger.

That’s what happened for one patient.

Joan (not her real name) went for an office visit with her provider, Joy Erickson, PA-C, at PeaceHealth Medical Group Fisher’s Landing clinic in Vancouver, Washington.

While focused on the reason for the appointment, Joan brushed off the other physical complaints, thinking nothing of them.

As Erickson reviewed Joan’s medical history and asked more probing questions, it became clear that something might not be right. True to Erickson’s practice of using a “whole person” approach to care, she wanted to make doubly sure.

Her training and intuition proved to be accurate. By the end of the exam, it was the very set of symptoms Joan had dismissed that sent her immediately for tests that would ultimately save her life.

Once the medical scare was over, the patient wrote the following note to express her deep gratitude:

”Ms. Erickson is the finest primary care provider it has ever been my privilege to know.

Her knowledge, compassion, thoughtful and excellent care, her ability to communicate and her extraordinary diligence in making sure that I am receiving the best possible care - whether in her own office, in the care of referred specialists, or even while in the hospital—all make her a brilliant and exceptional (provider).

She is a true gift and truly gifted.

There is no doubt that her exceptional diligence and immediate response in what turned out to be a recent medical emergency not only made all the difference in saving my life, but also connected me to an entire team of wonderful specialists who made an incredible difference in my treatment and recovery.

Let me add that Ms. Erickson's medical assistant, Jessica Trickett, and nurses are also the best of the best. I could not possibly ask for more or better.

It means everything not only to feel truly cared about, but to actually BE truly cared about.

Ms. Erickson and her team—from medical assistants and nurses to referred specialists—have made a tremendous, positive difference in my health and my life.”