Not just Bones and Muscles

A few weeks ago, an elderly patient with advanced metastatic cancer came to see me in my palliative care clinic. She did not speak English. She came in with her daughter, who translated as the patient did not wish to use an interpreter. She told me about her worsening pain. We had a good visit; I got to know the patient and her daughter a … Continue reading Not just Bones and Muscles

Guilt: The Elephant in the (exam) Room.

“I don’t do guilt.” Dr. Robin Taylor is a pulmonologist who practices in Glasgow, Scotland. Most of the patients who come to see him in his respiratory clinic, smoke. And one of the most important things he could help them do for their health is to quit. And as simple as it sounds, it is notoriously a difficult thing to do. And it is not … Continue reading Guilt: The Elephant in the (exam) Room.

Restoring the Clinical Note

A few years back, Abraham Verghese wrote “Physician as Storyteller” where he told a story of a patient of his who underwent a discectomy complicated by a rare infection at the side of the surgery. Verghese wrote a case report detailing the clinical situation which he later shared with the patient who was elated to be “a rare case.” Until he read the report: “Abraham, … Continue reading Restoring the Clinical Note