Thursday Review: “Getting Personal: Can Systems Medicine Integrate Scientific and Humanistic Conceptions of the Patient?”

In medicine, just like in other disciplines, there is a distinction between “art” and “science”. A line is drawn between the humanistic and data, between subjective and objective, between mind and body, and what is personal and what is verifiable.

In the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice Henrik Vogt et al. want to answer if systems medicine can bridge the gap between them.
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Thursday Review: “Gesundheit und Krankheit als Bildungsprozess”, Health and Sickness as an Educational Process

A little more than a decade ago, there was a growing sense that the patient was missing from their own care. In Europe, the German-language Journal for Qualitative Education, Counseling, and Social Research called the idea of bringing patients’ biographies into academic study weitgehend brachliegend, “extensively fruitful”. In the US, Rita Charon published her groundbreaking book Narrative Medicine just over a year later.
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Thursday Review: “Restoring the Patient’s Voice: The Therapeutics of Illness Narratives”

The bulk of my work is wrapped up in teaching how stories can be useful in clinical situations. I believe that stories and storytelling make life better and more meaningful. I tend, though, to downplay narrative work that can’t explicitly help doctors, nurses, and administrators serve patients more effectively. I suppose that comes from a need to show healthcare professionals the value of medical humanities.

The way that Dr. Jurate A. Sakalys writes about the need to simply let patients talk, though, is a good challenge for me. Writing in the Journal of Holistic Nursing, Sakalys brings up several themes which have come up in the context of patient-provider communication. The focus of the article, though, is on why those narratives are healthy for the patient.

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Thursday Review: “Physician Burnout: Coaching a Way Out”

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

“What’s my motivation?”

It’s a simple questions at the heart of examining our own behavior. So much so, that it’s cliché to imagine a fussy actor hassling their director for an answer.

Building on Maslach’s work1, 2 (mentioned previously) Gail Gazelle, Jane M. Liebschutz, and Helen Riess discuss coaching. Professional coaching is widely used in other sectors, and is finding its way into the medical profession.
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Thursday Review: “Correlates of physician burnout across regions and specialties: a meta-analysis”

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

Facets of Burnout

Quantitative research about burnout is usually traced back to Christina Maslach and Susan E. Jackson’s work in the late 1970s and early 80s. They began their work, pointing to their and others’ research that burnout can lead to a deterioration in the quality of care or service that is provided by the staff. It appears to be a factor in job turnover, absenteeism, and low morale. Furthermore, burnout seems to be correlated with various self-reported indices of personal distress, including physical exhaustion, insomnia, increased use of alcohol and drugs, and marital and family problems.1
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