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Posts Tagged ‘medical communication’

Doctors are obsessed  with science .  Science is man-made , often , the quality of which is far from perfect (Apart from scientific inaccuracies , personal and commercial conflicts creep in )  .Hence  ,  patients   may not get  the true benefits of genuine science  today . This has a huge moral and economic implications .

The entire life time savings  of  our population , is threatened to be consumed by the vagaries of modern medicine. A recent WHO  report  reveals  , the  major cause for  poverty  is attributable to  the frivolous and  greedy   modern health care delivery system. Many times,  bulk of the nation’s wealth is  being  spent on  prolonging the final   few  months  of     lives(Often unproductive ! )  of their fellow citizens.

The irony is ,  many of these expenditures have questionable benefits.

  • A simple car is prone for fewer errors but it still serves it’s purpose .A hybrid car which switches between hydrogen, petrol and electricity  is obviously vested with numerous unexpected issues.
  • An ordinary  cell phone is easy to operate,  while an Andorid 2.2 phone  is loaded with great  applications  ,  but the  original purpose of a phone  ,  namely communicating with others is often   compromised.
  • Modern medicine  is a monster machine  with  thousands of  visible and invisible switches . The funny thing is most of us do not even know jobs assigned to these switches .Worst of  all , these controls  can self ignite  or put off  on its own . One can imagine . . .  the potential errors  from this monster controlled by a  minuscule master of medicine .

Does your patient aware of all those uncertainties ! Why is it so difficult for us to communicate  the above facts to our patients ? Mankind can benefit ,    if we put across the  following  doctrine to our public domain.

A medical  non  intervention can be as safe  as  an  intervention ,  but one has to accept the occasional complications  arising out of a  non intervention . In this context  it should be  realised  ,  we never hesitate to  accept the   consequence of  a  modern  intervention.

Why and how our  mind is readily accepting even deaths  during an  inappropriate procedure , while we struggle to accept  even a temporary set back  for not doing a needy intervention.

What is the solution ? We need to uncomplicate  medicine . . . simplify them .When doctors intervene with common sense as a weapon  to tackle the  scientific excesses patient is bound to  benefit.

Don’t ask don’t tell  dogma   should be replaced by ‘”Tell  without asking” .Be transparent about the limitation  of science.

Documenting and adhering to protocols is satisfying for upholders of science , but one should realize being unscientific also   can help our patients many times.

When your hospital protocol says check for hypoxia in every patient  with dyspnea ,  mind you it may land your patient to a totally   unwarranted  ventilator assistance for a very transient hypoxia reported your fellow over phone.

Here is an article that reveals ,   how a  few oral words of   advice could help  both financially and academically in critical care.

http://chestjournal.chestpubs.org/content/138/6/1475.abstract

 

Final message

William Osler said   ” Lesser is better” in medical  communication  . It may not apply today.

Did Osler  was  referring to  falsehoods in medicine ? , Then ,  probably he  is 100 %  is right . . . for the current times !

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