Our Blog: A Medical Humanist’s Notes

What Do You Want Your Doctor to Know About You?

April 29, 2019 at 3:04 pm · Filed under communication, healthcare professionals, Patients

In previous blogs I described my role as a medical humanist at Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center (2002-2005) where I documented the patient’s understanding of their diagnosis, prognosis, treatment plan and the impact of their illness on themselves and family.

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Do They Know What I Am Thinking?

March 27, 2019 at 12:11 pm · Filed under communication, family & friends, healthcare professionals, Newly Diagnosed, Patients

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.

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When The Conversation Changes

February 27, 2019 at 9:39 am · Filed under communication, family & friends, Patient Advocacy

“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 […]

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Doctors Have a Hard Job

January 30, 2019 at 1:12 pm · Filed under communication, healthcare professionals, Patients

“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.

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The Illusion of Caring—is That Enough?

January 6, 2019 at 10:20 am · Filed under communication, family & friends, healthcare professionals, Patients

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 […]

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