Thursday, January 31, 2008

What We'd Like from Our Doctors

One of the most moving quotes I've found on the subject of what we'd like from our doctors was written by Anatole Broyard (he's the author of Intoxicated by My Illness and Other Writings on Life and Death) in an article in the New York Times Magazine, which was quoted by Bernard Lown, M.D., author of The Lost Art of Healing: Practicing Compassion in Medicine.

"I wouldn't demand a lot of my doctor's time. I just wish he would brood on my situation for perhaps five minutes, that he would give me his whole mind just once, be bonded with me for a brief space, survey my soul as well as my flesh to get at my illness, for each man is ill in his own way...Just as he orders blood tests and bone scans of my body, I'd like my doctor to scan me, to grope for my spirit as well as my prostate. Without some such recognition, I am nothing but my illness."

1 comment:

JayPeeFreely said...

That would be too easy. And as you are well aware, "easy" isn't something the medical field is exactly searching for always.

In my brief forays into getting help, I would try to best explain my situations in life, what, where, why and how I got to where I was, and yet, in that explanation, I would never get much feedback. I wasn't treated as "human" but like he said, "my illness." I was diagnosed as a narcissitic, alcholic, depressed and average person wanting too much from life. "Stick to simple things," I was told by one educated professional.

I read that psychologists often use two terms: YAVIS and HOUND to describe their clientele. Young, Attractive, Verbal, Intelligent and Successful versus Homely, Old, Unattractive, Nonverbal and Dumb. And obviously they are more interested in treating the "attractive ones" due to their abilities, namely, to pay them.

I always wanted a success rate% of the professional treating me. I mean, if you are good at what you do, it would be something to reflect as benchmark of working people to a better way of life.

But, I would like the situation described in that quote. It would seem a few med schools would teach that.