Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: Patient Involvement by Elizabeth

Posted by Toby on December 31, 1998, at 10:34:21

In reply to Re: Patient Involvement, posted by Elizabeth on December 30, 1998, at 1:23:35

Ah, grasshopper, when you can snatch the pebble from my open hand, then you will be ready to begin your journey.....

Whatever your ultimate medical destination, always keep in mind that your patients are regular people. They have access to lots of information via the media, self help books and the internet. Much of the information is crap, some is harmless drivel and some is actually beneficial. Always keep in mind that a well informed patient is a good ally but that a well informed patient is not a doctor. In other words, informed consent is an oxymoron because a layperson is never as informed as they could be. That's where the art of the science lies and where you as a doctor need to apply compassion and "best interest" for the patient. Many docs get mad if a patient refuses a treatment recommendation (can't tell you how many hospital consults I've done on perfectly reasonable people who refuse a certain treatment and the doc questions their competency, but I've never gotten a consult for an incompetent person who unwittingly agrees to whatever the doctor recommends). Find out what the patient fears about the recommendation (many have had relatives with a bad outcome and worry that it will generalize to them) and then go over alternatives. If you have none, then something is definitely awry. Keep patient information available in your office and depending on what your area of practice is, maybe keep a list of resources for your patients to explore on their own. Knowledge can be power. Being able to put a name to an illness is great help. Knowing what to look for, what to expect from the future (as best as anyone can know about the future), how one can take at least some control over an illness; these are the things that make any illness bearable and give us hope.

Well, these are just year-end babblings. Good Luck in Med School.




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