Thursday Review: “Patients’ unvoiced agendas in general practice consultations: qualitative study”

In the discussions about how to bring the humanities into medicine, one essential feature often gets lost. The attempts to make care more human and more humane aren’t being done for the sake of warm fuzzies. There are concrete ways medical outcomes suffer when healthcare practitioners and patients aren’t communicating well.

Writing in The BMJ, Christine A. Barry, et al. provide one of the clearest discussions on medical outcomes suffering from ineffective communication, and why both patients and doctors are hesitant to change communication for the better.
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Thursday Review: “Physician Views on Practicing Professionalism in the Corporate Age”

In a previous Thursday Review focusing on Burnout, Deborah Lathrop1 emphasized the necessity for healthcare providers to have a space to to address any pain from hidden grief. Lathrop’s discussion of disenfranchised grief is sensible, considering the changes in medicine in the last 30 years.

The question, then, once we know the importance of acknowledging and mourning the changes is, “What next?”

Writing in Qualitative Health Research, Brian Castellani and Delese Wear have published a summary of 50 physicians’ thoughts on how to practice medicine in “the corporate age”. Castellani and Wear try to match the professional experiences of real physicians, theoretical underpinnings, and practical advice for current and future physicians. Their work ties together ethics, storytelling, and even clarifies and expands some of Lathrop’s work.
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Thursday Review: “Relationships of power: implications for interprofessional education”

Teaching health care providers how to collaborate between disciplines is considered an important mechanism for enhancing communication and interprofessional practice (IPP) among professionals, optimizing staff participation in clinical decision making, and improving the delivery of patient care1, 2, write Lindsay Baker, Eileen Egan-Lee, Maria Athina “Tina” Martimianakis and Scott Reeves.

Their article in the Journal of Interprofessional Care answers a big, glaring question: if there are such big advantages to “interprofessional practice”, why can it be so difficult to get professionals in different areas to collaborate?
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Thursday Review: “Disenfranchised Grief and Physician Burnout”

This November, the Thursday Reviews will be dedicated to some of the literature available on Resilience and Burnout. We’ll be examining how storytelling and narrative are essential to healthcare providers’ well-being.

Nov. 2 | Nov. 9 | Nov. 16 | Wed., Nov. 22 | Nov. 30

Grief for Patients and for Physicians

It’s easy enough to agree that grief is a part of a physician’s work. It goes without saying that a profession dealing with life and death has to come to terms with the loss of a patient. When I first picked up Dr. Deborah Lathrop’s article, I expected her discussion to revolve around how that kind of grief — the loss of a patient — can lead to physician burnout. Lathrop, however, widens the scope of the idea of grief to include not just the loss of life, but a loss of how a physician understands their role and the practice of medicine.
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