Our Blog: A Medical Humanist’s Notes

Writing is Good Medicine™

May 16, 2018 at 10:08 am · Filed under communication, family & friends, Patients

Who said, “Poetry is language writing itself out of a difficult situation?” I’m not sure. What does come to mind is the poem “Late Fragment” by Raymond Carver, who was a patient at the time. 


…Stories as a Reminder of Love

April 27, 2018 at 8:58 am · Filed under Uncategorized

  “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 Denise Grady, New York Times (August 14, 2007) Recently a colleague e-mailed me the link to Jane Brody’s New York Time’s article Alzheimer’s Patients Keep The […]


Double Edged Sword

March 30, 2018 at 1:33 pm · Filed under communication, healthcare professionals, Patients

  In a recent KevinMD blog the term “doctor’s emotional switch,” was used by Dr. Mark Abrams to describe the protective coping mechanism ingrained in medical training to objectify their patients and thereby maintain emotional distance. He notes that this approach can have both positive and negative effects. 


The Scent of Words

March 4, 2018 at 7:03 am · Filed under communication, healthcare professionals, Patients

THE SCENT OF WORDS “In illness words give out their scent… if at last we grasp the meaning, it is all richer for having come to us…” Virginia Woolf On Being Ill (1930)


The Way We Were

January 22, 2018 at 4:24 pm · Filed under communication, healthcare professionals, Patients

One of the things I’ve heard many patients speak about is how their diagnosis resulted in what felt like an identity crisis—it seemed to change “who they were” nearly instantly, and in a very fundamental way.