Last week I wrote about the Doctor-Patient Relationship of the broken, outdated, patriarchal health care system of The Old Medicine. This week, I’m going out on a limb to suggest a new kind of Doctor-Patient Relationship, the kind I practice and I hope others in the new Pink Medicine do too. Here goes nothing. It’s All About Collaboration As doctor and patient, you and I are entering into a partnership.
Tag Archive: bedside manner
When I was training to become a physician, the rules of the broken, outdated, patriarchal medical system were made clear to me. They went something like this. The Old Medicine As your doctor, I will sacrifice everything in my personal life in order to fix what is broken in you. I will stay awake when I’m exhausted, cross my legs when I have to pee, ignore my stomach when it growls, neglect my partner and children when they need me, allow my health to decline, and read all my medical journals so I can stay up to date on the latest in modern science.
We hear a lot about the importance of compassion -- and the lack of it -- in medicine these days. Compassion comes from Latin words meaning to "suffer with." If taken literally, compassion in healing seems irrational. Why would a medical professional want to suffer alongside his or her patient? Suffering with one's patient might cloud one's professional judgment. When sick, patients need the cool-headed objectivity of their doctor and nurse -- not co-suffering or sentimentality. But compassion means more than "suffering with." It involves entering the mind-space of other persons so completely that one senses what the experience of illness is like for them.