Dual Perspective

October 11, 2017 by celia

 

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. (more…)


RECORDING VISITS REVISITED

August 28, 2017 by celia

 

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.  (more…)


A ROLE REVERSAL: DOCTOR BECOMES A PATIENT

July 26, 2017 by celia

 

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.  (more…)


Invisibility Is Not A Natural State

June 28, 2017 by celia

“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.”
MitsuyYamada

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.

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WHAT IS A ‘GOOD PATIENT’?

April 26, 2017 by celia

  “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?”  (more…)


Stories Are The Antibodies Against Illness

April 10, 2017 by celia

 

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?   (more…)


The Waiting Room Syndrome

February 22, 2017 by celia

 

“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”.

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WHO IS IN CHARGE OF MY CARE?

November 30, 2016 by celia

 

Tacked to my bulletin board within my line of sight are the words of Dr. William Osler,a 19th century physician who pioneered taking medical students out of the classroom to learn at the bedside. Dr. Osler understood that medicine was more than science. He encouraged the students to:

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THE HUMAN SIDE OF DOCTORING

June 13, 2016 by celia

“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 (more…)


To Attend or Not to Attend, That is the Question

April 13, 2016 by celia

 

As we ready ourselves for the first in our 2016 SpeakSooner community education series I ask myself how does one decide whether or not to attend a play, movie, or, in this instance, a community program. Is it the subject matter, panel of experts, a friend’s invite, a colleague’s suggestion or the reviews?

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