New And Precise Anthropology Response And Comments
Watch Abraham Verghese’s Ted Talk Called “A Doctor’s Touch”. Consider the corrective he offers to modern, technocratic medicine. His key message about the centrality of listening to the patient and engaging in a thorough physical exam ties together much of what we have talked about regarding ritual and the culture of biomedicine this past week. What do you think of the term he coined ? the ?i-patient?? Does this concept resonate with you and your experiences with US-style biomedicine (or perhaps someone close to you)? If so, how so? If not, why not? What do you think is the single most important message you would like to take with you if you are on a journey to become a care provider? If you are not, what would you most like your physician/s to hear and understand from this section of the class? (answer this with at least 250 words)
You are required to respond to two additional posts from a fellow classmate(s) (2 points each, 4 points total) of around 100-150.
“I can not stand going to see anyone in the medical field for any reason. I generally avoid it at all costs unless it truly can not be avoided any longer. Because of this, I do not have a primary care provider or anyone that i see on a regular basis. It is not because I do not trust our medical system, it is simply because I feel extremely uncomfortable when I do go see a medical practitioner. I do not feel as if i’m being heard. I do not feel as if i am being spoken with, more like spoken to. Most of the time, the doctor will come in with their face buried in a file and begin going through the motions without removing their face from the paper. It is very difficult for me to then spill my guts or trust that i will be heard when i speak. Most of the time, the nurse will do a brief exam without saying a word and then leave the room with the promise of the doctor returning shortly. When i leave, i feel relief that i am done with that entire procedure and unfulfilled because i generally leave with no answers but more bottles.
If i had to give some advice to future providers, it would be to simply make eye contact. Acknowledge my presence and speak to me as you would any other individual. I have experienced a lot of condescension from providers and it has made me wary to return. I go to you as a last resort because i truly don’t know how to deal and i want you to make me feel better. Don’t make me leave feeling worse off than when i came in.”
“I feel that most of my experiences with the American medical system have been atypical of what Dr. Verghese describes. I’ve had two knee surgeries from the same doctor in Montana, and whether it was pre or post-op, he always had me up on the table in my boxer briefs taking my pulse, listening to my heart/breathing, manipulating my knees, hips, back, and pretty much every other joint in my body. He was quick to ask how recovery was going and when I was going to start racing again. I liked him so much that I asked if he would be my primary care physician, and not just my ortho guy.
The only time I’ve ever had an impersonal visit with a physician was at the Student Health Services here at Oregon State when I suspected skin cancer (it runs in my family). At Student Health, my vitals were taken by a nurse, then I waited in an examination room for about 10 minutes before a doctor came in to look at a suspected spot on my arm. He walked in, didn’t introduce himself, didn’t ask anything about my family history with the disease, and didn’t ask about my exposure to the sun (I’ve had a lot). The doctor looked at the spot on my arm with his naked eye for about 5 seconds, rubbed his finger over it, and claimed it was something other than cancer under his breath. At that point, I determined he’s either the world’s fastest/best oncologist, or just a guy that can’t wait to go home at the end of the day. I asked him if he could look at a spot on my back and his reply was “what does it look like?” rather than just looking for himself. I had to convince him to look at possible cancerous spots on my back. This could be less of an “i-patient” situation, and more of a “jaded, shouldn’t be a doctor” thing.
I wish my classmates heading into the medical professions understand that people see doctors because they are concerned about something with their body. When a doctor belittles, dismisses, or ignores the concern, it puts unnecessary distance in the doctor-patient relationship. Spend time getting to know your patients and let them fully express their concerns.”