Methods come and go, as medical science evolves, but the people they treat are never out of style. The constant in the physician’s tool kit is the patient’s perspective.
“Since the day I silent kept- and listened to another,
There opened up a life which had ’til then
been merely shadow” – The Art of Listening by Jonathan Drane
Patients only have precious time. Spare time is a luxury that comes with prohibitive costs. In dialogs, when patients are acknowledged, a fountain of information cascades from their experience, but the insight those waters carry does little good, when it is spilled on waiting room floors and drained through hollow pipes of one way conversations.
Interactive discussions, between doctors and patients, can avoid hasty conclusions, discount ineffective treatments, heighten awareness and reveal opportunities to deal with chronic symptoms and avoid unwanted therapeutic consequences. Doctor/patient dialog can turn unanticipated dead ends and frustrating despair into hope, and in the best cases, incremental relief. The front line of the battle for survival and relief is waged over awareness, because cynicism and ignorance are lethal foes.
The patient is the axel of public understanding, physician diagnosis, medical treatment, and clinical research. Without this patient hub, these are useless endeavors, wheels without purpose or direction, unable to spin or bare a load.
Listening is essential to understanding. Here are two voices from the chorus of insight, who harmonize on that point.
“May is Lyme disease awareness month. It’s coming. I plan to tweet things that our doctors ignore, leaving us all to suffer for decades until we die of conditions they finally recognize because they were spoon-fed via “guidelines.”
In May, we who have any vector borne illnesses that go unacknowledged and untreated, will be loud. Because our medical system no longer allows time or space for diagnosis, proper links from research to clinical practice and peer review.”
Patients Need a Role in Setting Research Agendas!
We are all in this fight and life together, and while our roles may change, from time to time, we will all be patients, in the end.