Patient-centered medicine is important for patients and physicians alike. Patients help steer the treatment and care they receive. Physicians are relieved from the burden of having to be godlike guardians of life and death. Both are able to dialogue about what the best course of action might be for this particular patient.
Yet in spite of the general effectiveness of patient-centeredness, write Dr. Edward Krupat, et al.,
it is reasonable to ask whether a one-size-fits-all approach to patient care is the best one.
Continue Reading “Thursday Review: “When Physicians and Patients Think Alike: Patient-Centered Beliefs and Their Impact on Satisfaction and Trust””
The first purpose of clinical medicine, Dr. William J. Donnelly quotes, is
to relieve human suffering.1 Why, then, does the education and practice of mainstream medicine say almost nothing about patient suffering, other than pain relief?
Continue Reading “Thursday Review: “Taking Suffering Seriously: A New Role for the Medical Case History””
One of the most important concepts of my training in storytelling is one of the most overlooked.
The technical term is “The Space Between”. The idea is that one force alone is uninteresting, if not meaningless. It has to act with or against something else to be interesting and meaningful. This is a way of realizing that a story happens not because one person does something, but because a person does something to someone else. The Space Between, then, changes our thinking. Storytelling isn’t based on individuals, but is focused on the literal empty space between characters.
Continue Reading “Thursday Review: “Relationship-centered Care: A Constructive Reframing””
I enjoy work like Thomas R. Egnew’s article, published in The Annals of Family Medicine. Egnew asks a simple but profound question, and the answers open up new avenues for understanding the role storytelling plays in a medical relationship.
If healing is a part of medicine, why is there no
operational definition of healing, nor … any explanation of its mechanisms?
Continue Reading “Thursday Review: “The Meaning Of Healing: Transcending Suffering””
It’s been several years since my own near-fatal health scare. In the time between now and then, I’ve often reflected on how, no matter how I felt about the physicians in charge, I always implicitly trusted the nurses. I had doctors who must have hidden their halo somewhere, and I had doctors whose degree I swear was written on the back of a greasy diner’s paper placemat. I can’t say, though, that I ever thought that the nurse taking care of me had anything other than the best for me in mind.
It was sobering, then, when Ellen D. Baer opened her speech-turned-article “‘Do Trained Nurses … Work for Love, or Do They Work for Money?’ Nursing and Altruism in the Twenty-First Century” like this:
Continue Reading “Thursday Review: “Do Trained Nurses … Work for Love, or Do They Work for Money?””