Thursday, February 27, 2014

AN ONCOLOGIST--On how to talk with us, and how to think about us. . from Dr. Salwitz

Once in a while, my California doctor would do a procedure on me in his office.  One day I went in with a lump right below my nose, in the spot where one had been removed decades ago.  I told him that two other lumps had come and gone since surgery, but I felt uneasy about the latest one.

Getting ready to remove it, he said:  You seem to put yourself into a zen-like state.  I told him it was just pure trust. 

My uneasiness about the lump was justified--it was a basal cell carcinoma.

So yes, I trusted him.  But what I always tell friends about him is:  He trusted me.  He always listened to what I thought was going on with me.  When I was right, he said so.

Don't we all deserve this trust from our doctors?  Dr. James Salwitz seems to think so.

This came by e-mail,  From Sunrise Rounds Tuesday the 25th

"I will need to understand his incentives, goals and how he makes decisions.  Otherwise, I am afraid his health will suffer because of mistakes, by him or me, born of poor communication.  
Curing his cancer requires not only that he understand me,
 but that I trust him."

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