Our attitudes towards patients
- By: Teresa Pun
The lecturer was trying to make a point: “The hand that writes the opiate writes the laxative. You may not think that constipation is such a big deal, but wait until you're on the wards next year guess who gets to do the digital disimpactions?” He left the podium amid laughter and groans. No one wanted to be the clerk stuck with that task.
The next lecturer was a nurse: “It's 10 times worse for the patient. I don't think you realise how painful and humiliating it is for a patient to have to go through something like that.”
Most of our lecturers are doctors with multiple graduate degrees and illustrious publications. They teach us the basic science and clinical reasoning behind medicine, but they also teach us another, more subtle, lesson with their language and behaviour. They crack jokes at a patient's expense that are often appreciated in an