Our Blog: A Medical Humanist’s Notes

20 Years Later

January 13, 2020 at 3:00 pm · Filed under communication, family & friends, healthcare professionals, Patients

It’s a new year but I find myself reflecting on times past. So much for the lyrics of Auld Lang Syne, “Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind.” What catapulted me back in time was a recent article in the Journal of The American Medical Association (JAMA) that highlighted the patient’s perspective […]


The Person Inside The Patient

November 13, 2019 at 9:49 am · Filed under communication, family & friends, healthcare professionals, Patients

Adrienne Barnes, a nurse diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, was featured in “Voices From The Lived World of Illness,” a video produced by the Center for Communication in Medicine. During the interview she shared her frustrations when her doctor tells her “there’s really nothing I can do for you.”


Transforming Medical Crisis into Opportunities to Find Meaning in One’s Life

October 16, 2019 at 1:22 pm · Filed under communication, family & friends, Newly Diagnosed, Patients

The Center for Communication in Medicine, which I am a founder, decided that our next SpeakSooner Community Education Program on October 26 in Bennington would focus on the theme of transforming a medical crisis into an opportunity to find meaning and joy in one’s life. Planning this event brought to mind a woman whom I […]


Would You Prefer A Medical Fix or Good Communicator?

September 11, 2019 at 10:25 am · Filed under communication, healthcare professionals, Patients

I recently stumbled upon an old email from a nurse with whom I worked with many years ago at the cancer center in Bennington, VT.  At the time she had asked me: “Do patients, really want their doctors/nurses to be human?  Or do they want them to do what they were trained to do and […]


Who is This Doctor at My Bedside?

August 19, 2019 at 3:09 pm · Filed under communication, healthcare professionals, Newly Diagnosed

Recently, a friend went to the emergency room with complaints of severe GI pain and was admitted to the hospital. Naturally, she was worried about the cause of her symptoms, which she had been experiencing on and off for 6 months. Under the care of her family doctor she tried several medications but none seemed […]