I'm currently having a chance to do one of my least favorite things: be a patient. And the whole time, I'm missing no opportunity to declare what a bad patient I am. "I'm sorry I'm such a bad patient," I said to the phlebotomist when I winced as she drew my blood. "I know I'm a bad patient," I said to the x-ray technician who re-positioned my fractured arm. "We doctors are the worst patients," I said to the physician whose advice I questioned.
But am I really such a bad patient? Is a good patient simply one who never complains or disagrees?FULL ENTRY
I ask her to describe her daily food intake and she launches into her recitation: a small bowl of cereal...a little cottage cheese...a chicken leg with salad. She can't possibly be gaining weight on these grim rations.
Or can she?FULL ENTRY
Like many of my medical school classmates I'd decided against a career in pediatrics even before setting foot on the children's ward. "Who could bear to see a child sick...or die?" we asked ourselves--most of us knowing that we couldn't.
Over 20 years later I have seen many patients die. Most of them have been old, their deaths not tragedies, not crimes against nature--but still losses.
Sometimes, when I can't sleep at night, I think of them, one by one:FULL ENTRY