Soundings: Extreme generosity
- By: Thomas Hanna
I was recently struck by how I often take for granted the unique relationship that medical students have with patients. So many patients embrace medical students and open up to them in a way they wouldnt with a doctor.
Throughout my time on the wards, what starts as a simple history often deviates into the patient divulging highly personal information about their illness, life, and family. Ive heard stories concerning issues such as marital break-ups, deaths in the family, depression, and abuse. Patients who told me these stories admitted me into their personal worlds; for what reason? To patients, medical students are sometimes much needed ears that will listen.
You may think I lose control of my questioning; is a medical student incompetent if he or she allows such tangents when taking a history? Surely giving my time listening to patients problems is better than the professional performance of a