A Medical Humanist's Notes

Regret…

 

I received an e-mail from a friend. The subject: “Regret is an important teacher…” My eyes focus on the ellipsis, not the Huffington Post link. I think about the power of three small dots to punctuate what is left unsaid. In an instant my mother’s words, which in time had become her mantra, echoed in my mind’s ear: “You never regret what you don’t say.

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THE HUMAN SIDE OF DOCTORING

“Not every patient can be saved, but his illness may be eased by the way the doctor responds.”
Anatole Broyard, Intoxicated By My Illness

I received an e-mail from a colleague. The subject line read: “Wow look what they’ve discovered!” Attached was a link to the New York Times WELL column “Letting Patients Tell Their Stories.” My eyes drop down to the image of a doctor with his stethoscope in hand

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The End Is Where We Start…


And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from
T.S. Elliot • The Four Quartets

A friend, who has been living with multiple myeloma for the past seven years, forwarded me the link to “Not Just a Death, a System Failure” (link below) which appeared in the February 2 issue of the New York Times. After reading the article I found myself catapulted back in time. As a member of the cancer center staff, albeit a medical humanist and not a healthcare provider, I attended weekly staff meetings. 

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