RadioBDC Logo
| Listen Live
< Back to front page Text size +

Be a good patient in 5 easy steps

Posted by Dr. Suzanne Koven May 20, 2012 01:48 PM

doctor-examining-a-patient-clip-art_433473.jpgI'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?


Weight Loss Is Math, Sort Of

Posted by Dr. Suzanne Koven May 16, 2012 06:27 AM

abacus.jpegThe woman sitting before me is in her 60s, obese, and exasperated. "I'm telling you, doctor, I eat almost nothing."

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?


Elegy For My Patients

Posted by Dr. Suzanne Koven May 2, 2012 04:55 AM

angel-of-grief.jpegLike 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:


About the author

Suzanne Koven, M.D. practices internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. She writes a monthly column for the Globe's G Health section and her essays have appeared in the More »


Health search

Find news and information on:

Browse this blog

by category