The following article appeared in the New York Times on January 4, 2018. After his mother received a cancer diagnosis, the author, Dr. Sekeres, made a few resolutions for his own practice, after seeing cancer from “the other end of the biopsy needle” as he puts it.
Resolution No. 1: I will never again make the flippant suggestion that it should be easy for a parent to just stay with his or her child while going through chemotherapy or surgery. Nor will I be surprised when conflict or non-adherence arises from such an arrangement.
Resolution No. 2: I will not be cavalier in suggesting that patients who live at a distance see me when they would be visiting their families anyway over holidays or for their grandchildren’s birthdays. Happy occasions should remain exclusively happy, especially when cancer may limit the number of such occasions that remain.
Resolution No. 3: I will convey test results as soon as I enter the exam room. A follow-up appointment that I consider “routine,” with low chance of cancer recurring, is anything but routine to my patients and their families.
Too often, the patient perspective is lacking at the bedside of cancer patients and their caregivers. Through no fault of their own, many healthcare professionals are not privy to the issues patients face during their cancer journey. Unless they’ve been through it personally, physicians simply aren’t aware of the many ways they can ease the cancer burden for their patients, often in the smallest gestures.
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Read the full article here: Resolutions of a Cancer Doctor by
Further reading: When the Doctor’s Mother Has Cancer by