Discordance: when patients and docs aren’t on the same page

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

In her Netflix comedy special, “Not Normal”, Wanda Sykes recalls  having severe post-operative pain following the double mastectomy she underwent after her breast cancer diagnosis. She asked hospital staff for pain medication, but was offered only ibuprofen (or, as Wanda now describes it, “ibu-f***ing-profen!”)  Her white male friends, by comparison, told her that they’d each been given far more effective meds for far less severe pain after their own hospital procedures.

Her recommendation to women now is: “Bring a white man to do your complaining for you! ”   That’s pretty funny. But we all know that the reality is not funny at all.              .        .
Continue reading “Discordance: when patients and docs aren’t on the same page”

A patient, a caregiver and a doctor walk into a bar…

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

Just kidding about that title, dear readers! There’s no bar involved in this story. I couldn’t help myself.  But in this recent heart failure study out of Milan, Italy, a unique story-sharing experience evolved among three distinct stakeholder groups (patients, family caregivers and physicians), each guided by the concept called Narrative Medicine.(1)

The Italian researchers asked participants within these three interconnected groups of people to describe in their own words:

  • What is it like to be living with heart failure? 
  • What is it like to be a family member caring for the person with heart failure? 
  • What is it like to be a physician providing medical care to this person?        .           .

Continue reading “A patient, a caregiver and a doctor walk into a bar…”