StoryCorps at SHC: Jennifer Everett & Deborah Klein, MD

I could be vulnerable, I could be honest, transparent, and I could tell that you cared

Jennifer Everett (JE): When we met, I think it was 2009. My husband John and I had moved here to Seattle back from the Bay Area, and I was looking for a primary care doctor, and you came with rave reviews. It was just hands down, there's nobody else you want to go to, and I said, "Great." In 2017, when things started to get a little complicated with my health, you and I had started to partner on getting a referral submitted to Stanford. A lot of what I was experiencing was very much invisible, and you never questioned or doubted my truth and what I was experiencing and sharing with you. You were an educator, you were a guide. It was really phenomenal. From the first time that we met, I could tell that I could be vulnerable. I could just be honest and transparent, and I could tell that you cared. That all played into us, I think, being able to effectively navigate the waters of trying to figure out what was going on.

Deborah Klein (DK): You and I had a very copacetic, well-aligned sense of curiosity. Like, huh, what is going on? I find that to be a really important driver of both communication and moving things forward. You were also willing to tell me who you were, and that was really important. I need to know how you view yourself as a healthy, full person, and you opened with great self-advocacy. You opened with a clear understanding that there was something wrong and you wanted to know what it was and find a solution to it. We got to look down the road together.

JE: It all comes down ultimately to communication and your compassion, of course, and empathy that made my experience partnering with you through all of those years, really as successful as they were. I would not be here with the management of my symptoms and the little wins we've had along the way without you. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

DK: Well, those things don't happen without you being so frank about who you are, what you needed, and you allowed us to build trust. You trusted me, which is the greatest gift that a patient can give me. It's an unimaginable honor. 

Sound Editor: Emily Hsiao

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