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"Medicine has lost touch with the patient a little bit"

“Medicine has lost touch with the patient a little bit”

“When I got into public health, I saw that there were many children with mental retardation, and that no one knew why they were that way. We started studying them and we found that they had a group of diseases called metabolic diseases, which were treated,” Laureate National Medicine Award 2022, Specialist in Pediatric Neurology Martha Colombo Campbell. that it The first woman to receive the award.

“These are rare diseases, and with treatment, they are completely normal,” he added. from the garden.

It all started in San Borja Arriarán Clinical Hospital Through a group of doctors interested in improving the health of the country, led by the doctor Fernando Monkberg. “There we had a small lab. We started seeing patients with mental retardation and wanted to try a very primitive technology at the time to diagnose diseases. There the idea was to start treating the children with a special diet, an easy treatment, but difficult for families. Very good. Children with these diseases arrived and with treatment we saw them as normal children.”

They soon realized the importance of early diagnosis in newborns, as otherwise the babies might be left with some mental retardation.

“What percentage of children can be mentally retarded because of this?” he asked. Christian Warkinhost of From The Garden.

“Actually, the percentage is not high,” Colombo explained. “There are about 3,000 patients diagnosed over several years. And they are rare.”

his approach to neurology

One of the most important things for the specialist was also to be able to accompany the relatives of patients who needed it most. “I loved neurology and was able to do so many things. From the development of the newborn to all the diseases that can be treated, as well as helping families,” he said.

In this sense, the doctor has highlighted the importance of early diagnosis, as well as effective treatment accompanied by corresponding therapies, together with various professionals. He has good memories of the teamwork he had in hospitals. “Everyone is important,” he said. “I remember there was a good atmosphere with the medical team. From the nurses and specialists to those who cleaned the labs and patient rooms.”

However, he discovered a change in recent decades regarding the relationship that was established with the patient: “I think the medicine has lost contact with the patient a little bit, because now you can do everything through the computer. Now one, by not being in front the patient feels this heat less So I think it’s different because of technology.”

Science and Technology

The winner is a pediatric neurologist, with a long and fruitful career in teaching, research and care in public hospitals.

See the conversation with Marta Colombo