Interesting essay in the New York Times today about the physician-patient. Lauren Waldron, A budding pediatric neurologist discloses elements of her journey as a survivor of early stroke. Lots of interesting elements beyond early adaption to disability. The conclusion caught me:
As a doctor who was once a patient, I want to use my story to help families cope with their children’s diagnoses. When my patients and their parents ask me to predict their future, my answer will not define the destination, but encourage the journey.
While there are some who believe a doctor can never truly understand the plight of the patient, there are clearly some who can. Read p53 and Me in the New England Journal of Medicine last week and tell me that Shekinah Elmore doesn’t understand what it is to be a patient. Just because the perspective is different doesn’t imply a lack of understanding.
This is the lens of the physician-patient. It’s a voice that hasn’t been fully heard and one that I suspect is restrained for a variety of reasons. The physician-patient offers insight into a system and experience divided between doctor and patient.