As the year 2017 is coming to a close and a new year is approaching I find myself thinking about what has passed and what’s to come.
Each month I receive an online newsletter from “Cancer.Net”. The newsletter provides approved information to help patients and families make informed healthcare decisions. A recent issue titled “What is Tumor Board?” catapulted me back in time.
RECORDING VISITS REVISITED
A colleague recently forwarded a New York Times article, “The Appointment Ends. Now The Patient is Listening.” The author Paula Span notes new efforts to help patients understand their health status by recording appointments.
A ROLE REVERSAL: DOCTOR BECOMES A PATIENT
The title of one of my previous blogs in and of itself posed an important question: “What Is A Good Patient?” How one defines a “good patient” varies, as does their reason for wanting to be one. During my tenure as a Medical Humanist at Southwestern Vermont’s Regional Cancer Center I witnessed the difficult task doctors faced in reconciling those who became patients—to their illness.
Invisibility Is Not A Natural State
“We need to raise our voices a little more, even as they say to us,
‘This is so uncharacteristic of you.’ Invisibility is not a natural state for anyone.”
After each of our SpeakSooner community education programs I would ask myself, “How did this program differ from the one before? And, what was the take away?” I often wonder if others ask themselves the same questions.
What brought this to mind was an e-mail I received from a hospice social worker who often attends our community programs.
IS WRITING GOOD MEDICINE?
I don’t know who it was that said poetry is defined as a language writing itself out of a difficult situation. What I know is illness is one of those situations.
ASKING FOR WHAT YOU NEED…
When I was first diagnosed,” she said, “I didn’t feel I needed your help. I know how to get what I need—I’m a nurse, we speak the same language.”
WHAT IS A ‘GOOD PATIENT’?
“Variability is the law of life…no two bodies are alike, no two individuals react and behave alike
under the conditions which we know as disease.” – William Osler, MD
In my previous blog I noted, “patients’ want to be good patients,” which prompted several people to ask, “What is a good patient?”
Stories Are The Antibodies Against Illness
I often think about what the writer and patient Anatole Broyard said, “Stories are the antibodies against illness.”
It’s hard enough that a diagnosis comes along to threaten our lives—does it also have to threaten our life stories?
The Waiting Room Syndrome
“When I think of people in waiting rooms, including myself, I picture us rifling restlessly through battered magazines,” writes Rachel Hadas, Guest Editor of “The Waiting Room Reader II: Words to Keep You Company”.