Monday, December 23, 2013

That patient is a person

I once went to a doctor whose "clipboard" asked what name I liked to be called. Since I like to be called something other than my official name, this was a first! I was impressed.

I don't have that doctor anymore--but was impressed at the time.

Anyhow, now with the health care system oozing toward the dumpster, I guess doctors won't have time to get to know their patients better.

But Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Anna Quindlen wishes they would. They ask your profession on the clipboards, too--I have only had a doctor or two in my life ask me what I wrote. One used to bring up stories I had in the Washington Post--but he was the only one.

Research shows that doctors who care, or seem to, are sued less and the results in terms of care are better.

Quindlen has been described as a "monster of empathy." Sort a weird phrase, but probably a good thing.

It only takes a minute, she says in lectures to med students, to look, really look, into someone's eyes, and pass back and forth the spark of humanity we all share.

It would sure beat the "Had your mammogram, had your guts snaked, blood tests, we require you to get weighed in this office, come back in a year, NEXT."

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