Category Archives: Physician-patient relationship

New Robot Improves Eye Surgery, Does Not Replace Surgeon

“Good morning! I will be your surgeon today, and operating a robot in the adjacent room. Do you have any questions?” A patient may be alarmed by the notion of a robot involved in their operation, but robotic surgery is … Continue reading

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Filed under Physician-patient relationship, Technology

Growing pains of a medical student

Shara Yurkiewicz, a second year medical student who blogs at This may hurt a bit, describes what happens when doctor-patient boundaries are unintentionally blurred. At the very end of the exam, I tested his cerebellar function.  Touch your nose and … Continue reading

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Filed under Education, Physician-patient relationship, Storytelling

Rituals are about transformation

Abraham Verghese, physician and author, beautifully advocates for the restoration of the physical exam. via Scopeblog

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Filed under Education, Physician authors, Physician-patient relationship

Calling the expert

Kent Sepkowitz, MD, reflects on parallel experiences with plumbing and patients. And yet often I dismiss their ideas with the same careless flick of the wrist I have come to expect from the latest in my long line of plumbers … Continue reading

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Filed under Hidden curriculum, Physician-patient relationship

Redrawing the perimeter

In the clinic, patients and doctors interact in a carefully choreographed routine. There’s an opening, questioning, examination, counseling, and finally, a finish. Outside of the clinic though, the performers never abandon their roles;  they only adopt broader ones. An ill … Continue reading

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Filed under Day in the Life, Humanism, Physician authors, Physician-patient relationship

“Hold a Hand”

When we see a large scale disaster, like Hurricane Katrina or the tsunami in Japan, we tend to forget that the event itself is not just one tragedy, but hundreds or thousands of individual tragedies. In Storyteller Doc’s post this … Continue reading

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Filed under Education, Humanism, Physician-patient relationship

Heart and soul

Just one day after learning  heart sounds as a first-year student comes this must-read by Madeline Drexler – “18 Stethoscopes, 1 Heart Murmur, and Many Missed Connections.” During my annual physical, my doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital had remarked how loud … Continue reading

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Filed under Education, MSI, Physician-patient relationship