Medicine is full of the extraordinary every day. And really, how much extraordinary can one person absorb?Read more
We learn in medical school to take full social, family and physical histories with a new patient. We use checkboxes to run down the list of points in each history. We are taught to be thorough and document each answer.
Transitions are equally important in the hospital as day shifts to night and night to day and we hand off patients we may have been taking care of the past 12 to 24 hours. Just as children need time to adjust to a transition, so do our patients as they transition to a new day, new staff, and possibly a new baby.Read more
While evidence-based medicine and the double-blind study is certainly a valid lens through which to view illness and health... the marginalization of intangibles or unquantifiables such as the patient experience and physician-patient rapport is an unfortunate side effect.Read more
“Hospitals tend to have an extraterrestrial air. Shiny structures filled with yawning expanses of slick, sterile floors, strange beeping machines, and masked creatures with gloves cutting open sleeping bodies.”Read more
Patients want caregivers to be professional and competent. At the same time, patients expect a level of compassion and empathy from medical professionals. These two impulses can be contradictory.Read more
Scholars have begun encouraging doctors to gain more insight from their patients through narrative writing, especially poetry. According to Dr. Rita Charon, director of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University and co-editor of Literature and Medicine, “With narrative competence, physicians can reach and join their patients in illness, recognize their own personal journeys through medicine, acknowledge kinship with and duties toward other health care professionals, and inaugurate consequential discourse with the public about health care” (as cited in Encke, 2011).Read more