Do They Know What I Am Thinking?

March 27, 2019 by celia

Always interested in receiving feedback about the “Difficult Conversations Toolkit”, a patient asked me if I would read what she had written.  “I am unsure,” she said, “of how I have structured it.”

“I’d be pleased to read what you have written,” I said. (more…)


When The Doctor Becomes A Patient

March 20, 2019 by celia

The Center for Communication in Medicine (CCM) will present a SpeakSooner community education program “When the Doctor Becomes a Patient” on Saturday, April 13, 2019, 6pm at the Hoosick Falls Central School in Hoosick Falls, NY. The program includes an Exclusive Screening of The Doctor followed by a panel discussion with local healthcare providers Dr. Marcus Martinez, Dr. James Carroll, Dr. Matthew Pender and nurse, Patty Ryan, who will share their personal experiences as patients. A Q&A and dessert will follow.

The film tells the story of a doctor who discovers the challenges of life from the other side of the stethoscope after being diagnosed with cancer. William Hurt stars as a doctor who thought he knew it all until he became a patient and finds himself frustrated in navigating the healthcare system. The film received wide acclaim and a prized “Two Thumbs Up” by critics Siskel & Ebert.  

CCM’s 2018 film series was highly successful with one attendee raving, “We can’t wait for the next film and discussion.” This SpeakSooner event is another of CCM’s community education efforts in support of our mission: “to prepare patients facing serious illness and their loved ones for meaningful conversations with healthcare providers, leading to improved communication and a plan of care that honors a person’s values, priorities, and goals.”

Admission to the film, discussion and dessert reception is free. Limited seating.

TO RESERVE TICKETS go to http://speaksoonerhoosickfalls.rsvpify.com or call CCM 802 442-5800


When The Conversation Changes

February 27, 2019 by celia

“Learn the art of fragmented, irrational conversations and follow
the patient’s lead instead of trying to control the dialogue.”
Zen and the Art of Coping With Alzheimer’s

In the days when there were video stores I would walk by the film “Iris” countless times, knowing it was a story of the writer Iris Murdoch and her husband’s experience with her cognitive decline due to Alzheimer’s disease. (more…)


Doctors Have a Hard Job

January 30, 2019 by celia

“Few patients realize how deeply they can affect their doctors,” notes Dr. Scott Haig. In his Time Magazine article (10/5/2007) he goes on to say, “That is a big secret in medicine, which doctors hate to admit. (more…)


The Illusion of Caring—is That Enough?

January 6, 2019 by celia

I recently stumbled upon a writing exercise completed by a patient who participated in the “Writing is Good Medicine”TM, program, which I created to help patients put words to their experience of living with illness. Participants were encouraged to share their writing with family and healthcare providers in order to open communication about issues and concerns. For one exercise I posed the question, “What do you expect from your doctors?” (more…)


Questions Only God Can Answer

November 28, 2018 by celia

In the early 2000’s the Center for Communication in Medicine created a program for physicians at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center titled “Doctors Conversation Hour.” (more…)


UNCERTAINTY IS THE REFUGE OF HOPE

October 24, 2018 by celia

UNCERTAINTY IS THE REFUGE OF HOPE
The Journal Intime
Henri Frederic Amiel

Recently, I was reminded of a patient from time passed who had asked me, “How does one live with uncertainty?”

In The Wounded Story Teller writer and patient Arthur Frank notes, “When a doctor tells us we are sick they are not just diagnosing us—they are initiating a new chapter in the story of our lives. What would it be like for patients to tell their stories and doctors to read them?” (more…)


Quality of Life – We All Want It But What Is It?

September 26, 2018 by celia

In Man’s Search for Meaning Victor Frankl said, “The quest for meaning is central to the human condition, and we are brought in touch with a sense of meaning when we reflect on that which we have created, loved, believed in or left as a legacy.”  (more…)


SpeakSooner Fall Community Education Film is “Patch Adams”

September 21, 2018 by celia

On Saturday October 20, 6pm at Oldcastle Theatre there will be a screening of “Patch Adams”, starring the inimitable Robin Williams as a medical student clashing with the school’s administration over his efforts to humanize the doctor-patient relationship. The film “showcases [Williams’s] great gift for improvisational comedy and his ability to make heartfelt connection,” states Tom Keogh, Film.com. Watch the trailer here.

After the film a panel of local doctors will discuss the challenges of incorporating humanism in medical training and practice, followed by a Q&A session and dessert reception. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling Oldcastle Theatre at (802) 447-0564 or by clicking here.

The SpeakSooner film series is offered by the Center for Communication in Medicine (CCM) to educate the public about how to improve healthcare communication and quality of care. To learn more about CCM programs and communication tools visit speaksooner.org.


REVISITING “LEARNING HUMANITY”

August 13, 2018 by celia

I’d been thinking about the topic of my next blog when I found myself catapulted back in time to 2008 and an article written by Dr. John Launer in the Postgraduate Medical Journal, which referenced my work as a medical humanist. It was titled, Learning Humanity. (more…)