Friday, July 27, 2018

The model of Empathetic Medicine: The Way it Was

There was a time when physicians got it right.

The GP or general practitioner was a true care giver. He was your family doctor who took time to get to know you, listened to all your complaints  physical, psychological and spiritual--real or imagined.

The session usually began with  stethescope pressed to your heart to monitor your heartbeat for irregularites such as murmers. Then, he brought out the sphygmomanometer or blood pressure kit with its cuff applied to the forearm  to measure your blood pressure.

All the while the patient would be sharing his or her complaints: my stomach hurts me,  I have frequent heartburn, I have constipation for over a week, my 17 year-old daughter still in high school ran off with the postman- no goodbyes nothing.

And the doctor would listen patiently and record mental notes. And oftentimes give simple advice to help alleviate the high blood pressure reading he just noted.

Oftentimes our model physician had the time to make housecalls. He would go up and down apartment building stairs visiting the homebound sick. And the word quickly got around and he built a loyal group, who when recovered, lined up at his office for a private consultations.

Now there is skype.

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