The nature of the doctor-patient relationship changes over the course of illness. Perhaps nowhere is that truer than in oncology.
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Here's what happened to me when I recently became ill and the whole business of our relationship with doctors was suddenly brought into sharp focus.
Relationships are crucial to health. We know that people with more and stronger social connections are more likely to be well and happy, and social media can bolster that.
Medicine has changed, and it has changed for the good. As medical professionals, we must meet this challenge head-on to be in a position that we can interact with you to accomplish great things.
Narrative medicine, and the resulting application of its principles to medical ethics, seems to me a bright new star in the universe of medical possibilities.
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But it is your body, your health, and your life. You are the boss -- so act like it!
It is natural to shift blame to a God who doesn't care, a doctor who is inaccessible, or an insurance plan that is heartless. It is natural to shift blame, but not constructive.
There is no numeric substitute for direct and clear communication between a doctor and patient. That said, making sense of medical statistics can go a long way in helping a patient.
How much easier it is to imply that it must be "all in the patient's head," rather than concede it is knowledge that isn't yet in ours! How easy, and how wrong.
As doctors, we are not trained to understand the power of our words as they relate to a patient's ability and desire to survive. Words can become swords and, like a scalpel, kill or cure.
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