Tag Archives: Dr. Michael Kahn

The lost art of common courtesy in medicine

27 Dec

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

So I showed up for a scheduled medical test at the hospital the other day. It was one of those particularly distasteful tests that involve a full day’s prep at home choking down a range of hideous chemical cocktails, consumption of which is designed to induce explosive liquid diarrhea that requires staying very, very close to a toilet all day long. The procedure itself  on the following morning was right up there on the Creepy Disgusting Embarrassing Cringe Scale of medical experiences.

Hospital procedures like this feel invasive, uncomfortable, distressing, and revoltingly undignified for most patients. All the more reason that medical staff who administer such procedures need to start treating us like we’re more than just the nameless, faceless 10 o’clock patient in Bed 8, what I’ve previously described here as “the obstacle between them and their next coffee break, just a piece of meat on a slab – but worse, an invisible piece of meat.”

Call me crazy, but I might even go so far as to insist that patients deserve to be treated with common courtesy, and let’s start with the simple basics of saying something like:

Hello. My name is _____ and I’ll be doing your ______  today.” Continue reading