The Next Best Thing To Having A Doctor In The Family
Were you recently in the hospital, but don’t know exactly why you were there or what happened to you?
Do you have an important test result, but no idea what it really means?
Do you have a sick family member, and not know what you should be asking or watching out for?
Do you still not really understand why someone close to you died?
I’m a physician specializing in ICU and lung medicine. I’m also a writer. As much or more than any other element of doctoring, I enjoy finding the words to explain medicine to patients and their families.
In my experience, patients often don’t get the explanations they desperately need. The pace of medicine today is so fast that doctors and nurses don’t have the time they wish they had to talk at length with patients and families. It is not uncommon for me to meet a patient who was recently discharged from the hospital — but does not know why he was there, what was done, and what the implications are for his health and future.
My goal is to help patients to better understand their own health and medical care. My hope is that better understanding will give patients and their families the ability to ask the right questions of their own doctors, and to develop a sense of purpose and effective self-advocacy.
The subject of medicine can seem opaque and incomprehensible, especially when shrouded in jargon — but in fact there is nothing so logical, fascinating, and even beautiful when put in plain language.