Archive for September 21st, 2010

I don’t need no doctor

Doctors like illness. They like diagnosing and managing it even if they don’t fix it. It’s a puzzle to be be played with and solved.

I suspect the fact that the illness is attached to a patient is being increasingly forgotten or pushed aside in the pursuit of the illness.

We would learn more how best to serve our patients by reading more novels than textbooks.

We have lost our way in caring and our “success” in medicine has led us to pursue curing instead.

There are terribly dull courses in medical schools taught by sociologists who try to address the ideas of humanity with terms such as “the biopsychosocial model of health”. This seems to be the art of making the incredibly obvious increasingly complicated and interminably dull.

Having said this I believe we are raising a generation of doctors with great knowledge and decision making but with barely a trace of humanity, and I believe this is happening because we train children to be doctors.

Or maybe they are more fairly called adolescents more interested in drinking, parties and fucking than they are in understanding what they are entering into.

The patients that they deal with come from a world that they have no comprehension of – one filled with fear, pain suffering and loss. This is a world that they will come to understand in their own lives but by careers and personalities they will defend themselves from it till it can no longer be avoided. Many patients will pass through their hands before then.

I know this because I was that child training to be a doctor. I still am in many ways.

Two of my best friends trained as doctors in their mid/late twenties with a degree and some life and some pain and comprehension of beauty behind them. I am immensely proud of them for the way they have approached it and the humanity and understanding that they so clearly bring.

I’m not sure what the answer is to this (though a fundamental┬áre-understanding┬áboth by society and the medical profession about what medicine is and should be would help…) ┬ábut I wonder if graduate entry would make an impact.


September 2010