Demystifying the Doctor Patient Relationship
A few days ago I happened upon a blog post that’s had me thinking ever since. The author of the post and I both had one of our articles mentioned on a roundup of inspiring blog posts (a real honor!) It is a beautifully written letter of gratitude from a young woman to her surgeon six years after a surgery that changed the direction of her life. The thing that struck me is that she wasn’t sure she was worthy of what he’d done for her (he did the surgery gratis), and she wasn’t sure he’d ever see the letter (she mailed him a copy, of course) or care. As a physician (retired, but still), this made my heart ache. And it got me thinking…the doctor patient relationship is an almost ubiquitous first-world human experience, but I think that most patients have misconceptions about how that relationship is perceived from the other side. I want to clear up a few things, so I’ve decided to give you a rundown of the things good doctors wish patients knew.
What If? The Intersection of Faith and Doubt
Some days words just won’t come. I think it’s the curse of the introvert. If I could change one thing about my body, it would be to have different vocal chords. I’d love to have a rich, raspy, rangy, soulful, powerful singing voice. But if I could change one thing about my personality, it would definitely be a sturdy rightward slide on the introvert/extrovert scale. I’m what you call an outgoing introvert, so sometimes I just hit a wall and can’t interact anymore until I have some alone time to recharge. I could do with less of that. I’ve had a couple of blog articles floating around in my head for a week now, but today, words escape me. Read more
Do you ever feel like something that is hard in your life is keeping you in a tunnel? That all that you see and feel and think about is being seen and felt and thought through the filter and weight of that problem? That things which should be easy and should require little thought are somehow harder and more perplexing? That your feet are stuck in a thick bog and your brain is full of cobwebs? Me too.
I don’t live this way often. My circumstances don’t control my life as a rule, thank God. But when I’m worried about the health of one of my kids or I’m contemplating a weighty decision, I often feel paralyzed by those issues. Until recently, I saw this as a weakeness, a character defect even. I am a worrier and over-analyzer by nature, so I thought this was just something I didn’t deal with well or was a personal shortcoming. People in every day life don’t talk about it. The interactions we have are usually too fleeting or superficial (appropriately so) to delve below the surface and share what’s really going on in our depths. So when we feel this way, we often can’t see anyone else going through the same thing. And I don’t know about you, but it never occurs to me to cut others slack because they might be in that boat. I heard a podcast earlier this week that dissects this phenomenon.