What are you looking for?

Tag: doctor-patient relationship

Saving Private Ryan

Gregory Rutecki

The late Eighties was the worst of times in medical education–the era when doctors in training worked a virtually unlimited number of hours each week. This unceasing and inhumane workload led residents, understandably, to view patients purely as collections of physical ailments.

Back then, I was an attending physician at a community teaching hospital. One day, as usual, I was preparing to make morning rounds and, simultaneously, to do my best

Read More »

Choices

 
My current life as a locum tenens–a doctor who travels around to fill in for vacationing or ill physicians–is lonely. I spend endless days in hotel rooms, away from my family. But I chose this existence as an antidote to the professional exhaustion that threatened to end my surgical career. Regular panic attacks, maladaptive coping behaviors and compassion fatigue had turned me into a person I did not like or recognize.
Read More »

Care in Airplane Mode

Airplane mode disables me from using Wi-Fi and enables me to provide distraction-free care to the patients in front of me. Truly disconnecting is difficult, but being in rural Honduras allows me to switch my phone settings with ease. My otoscope and ophthalmoscope cannot see texts and emails. My stethoscope cannot hear incoming calls. My hands cannot feel my IPhone screen. I am in tune with my body, my senses and my patient.
Read More »

Unmasked

Carly Bergey

It’s called a missed miscarriage: You arrive, as I did, at the doctor for your first-ever pregnancy appointment, suffering from morning sickness and filled with joyful anticipation–only to learn that your body has not yet registered the death of your small embryo. Despite all of my doctor’s tinkering and double-checking, the ultrasound screen showed no movement. There was just the outline of a baby in me, quiet and still.

Hoping for a

Read More »

Kleenex

 
Twenty minutes behind as I knocked on the exam room door and entered. No need for introductions. We knew each other well. We skipped the “asking the patient her goals for the visit.” I already knew them. Twenty years of caring for and being trusted by a patient and a friend allows that. Her goals were the same as mine. We were there to tell the truth.
Read More »

Please Don’t Ask

 
“Please don’t ask” was my silent plea to my patient as I entered the exam room. I knew if she did, I would start crying, and not for the first time that day.
Read More »

Heart and Soul

Fredy El Sakr

“Help!” I yelled out of our open apartment door.

I was seven years old, and my family had recently emigrated from Egypt to the US. We’d been feeling elated that week because, after months of interviews, my father had matched into a pediatric residency.

That morning he’d awakened feeling nauseated. My mother and sister went to buy some soothing food. I noticed that he’d vomited in the bathroom; now he

Read More »

If Only

Beatrice Leverett

When I first met Jason, I was a third-year medical student halfway through my psychiatry rotation, and he was a newly admitted patient halfway through a nasty comedown from crystal meth.

He sat slumped in his chair, scowling, his face hidden by a baseball cap and black hooded sweatshirt, growling responses to my interview questions.

“Why do I have to do this? I hate this crap. I’ve answered these bullshit

Read More »

Family Summons

Amy Cowan

Startled out of sleep, I reflexively reach for my beeping pager. For a split second, I lie poised between wakefulness and terror in the pitch-dark resident call room, not sure where I am or what happened. I resolve to sleep with the lights on from now on.

I dial the call-back number.

“Pod A,” a caffeinated voice chirps. It’s Candice, one of the nurses.

“Hi. Amy here, returning a

Read More »

Curmudgeon

Lisa Walker

My brother-in-law, Ron, was a curmudgeon; grumpy, sullen, even downright mean at times.

By blood, he and my husband Bill were cousins. In the 1950s, when Bill was just a child, his mother died unexpectedly, and Ron’s mother took Bill in to live with her and her four children. They were an African-American family living in the midst of a middle-class, predominantly white Connecticut township. Their home, located on a wealthy

Read More »

A Mother’s Son

Hugh Silk

“Why do you want to go into family medicine?” my internal-medicine preceptor asked.

It was an innocent enough question. I’d known from day one of medical school what I wanted to do, so I answered with confidence, and perhaps a bit of a chip on my shoulder.

“I love being with people and getting to know them,” I said. “I’ve always been this way, so it makes sense that’s what

Read More »

A Conversation About Race, Fear and Connection

Paul Gross

In the wake of recent events, many speak about the need for conversations about race. In our country, the implications of race are a moral issue, a humanitarian issue, a justice issue and, yes, a medical issue. (One need only examine how racial categorization affects rates of death.) But what would this conversation about race look like?

Today, Pulse’s editor provides one offering. In August, we’ll invite all Pulse readers to join

Read More »
Scroll to Top