Dr. Marlene Wüst-Smith is the founder and publisher of Physician Outlook Magazine, a print and online magazine that hopes to change the division between the once sacred physician and patient relationship. The magazine has a dual audience: its target reader is BOTH the physician and the patient, and it effectively humanizes and simplifies issues important to patients of all ages, demographics and political persuasions. She believes in supporting those who have been traditionally underserved. The Physician Outlook Magazine recently launched a job board where it hopes to promote opportunities for physicians at healthcare organizations that still believe in patients over profits while creating confidentiality and autonomy for the physician candidate.
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Dr. Wüst-Smith is a Hispanic physician who graduated from Cornell University with her Bachelor of Science in 1985 and with her Medical Doctorate in 1989. She has been a practicing pediatrician for over 25 years and has had the honor of caring for children and their families across the socioeconomic spectrum, from the very poor in North Central rural Pennsylvania to the very rich of the Upper East Side of Manhattan and the East End of Long Island in the Hamptons. She has a passion for making sure that all patients are able to access the highest quality care and understands the many factors involved in ensuring that care is safe, effective and affordable. Currently, Dr. Wust-Smith is the medical director for a small, catholic Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure, in Western New York. In addition to her practice of medicine, Dr. Wust-Smith has ignited her passion for writing and healthcare reform. She has been a contributing editor to Hispanic Outlook on Higher Education with her own section “Health Simplified” and a monthly column “The Physician’s Desk” before launching Physician Outlook Magazine in January 2020.
Dr. Wüst-Smith’s Prescription for Success:
Number 1: Do a thorough history and complete exam. Healthcare is more than an algorithm and it’s our job–our duty–to take as thorough a history as possible and to do that complete exam.
Number 2: Communicate succinctly, but completely a patient assessment and plan. Summarize the issues at hand and and reiterate whether it’s a diagnosis or advocacy, we need to succinctly summarize what the issues are and propose a solution or a plan.
Number 3: My third and last recipe for success is to alwaysremember the oath that we take as physicians and that is to do no harm. I have expanded that oath and wear a bracelet that has a secret message on the inside.
Connect with Dr. Wüst-Smith:
Notable quotes from Dr. Wüst-Smith’s interview:
I think at the age of seven, … I first said I wanted to be a pediatrician and I stuck with it.
For me success was being happy and feeling like I was making a difference in the world.
Those first two years of medical school were tough. I squeaked by, but I started giving myself a break. And that’s what I tell young people going into education now. Nobody asks you what your grades are once you’re in front of a patient; just try to be kind to yourself, try your hardest, and learn what you need to learn.
I am somebody who takes their time with a patient; I would rather take care of one person Well, than see five poorly.
Because if there was a real emergency that potentially put somebody at risk, but don’t interrupt me to put in a silly set of orders, and it’s a standard order set, so stuff like that would just drive me crazy and my CEO and I did not see eye to eye. I was constantly being called to the principal’s office for having an attitude unbecoming of a medical leader. But it made me proud because I was standing up for my colleagues and standing up for my patients, because I would just refuse.
I find that if you actually ask a patient about their experiences, they are missing the days where the doctor looked you straight in the eye [and] you could have a conversation