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On Being a Doctor |

My Condolences

Vikram Padmanabhan, BS, MAEd
[+] Article and Author Information

From Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461.


Requests for Single Reprints: Vikram Padmanabhan, BS, MAEd, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Box 546, Bronx, NY 10461; e-mail, vpadmana@aecom.yu.edu.


Ann Intern Med. 2008;149(8):591-592. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-149-8-200810210-00013
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“All I want is a way to clean myself after I make a mess.”

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The whole person
Posted on November 16, 2008
Ahmad Kaako
UTCOM Internal Medicine Resident
Conflict of Interest: None Declared

I have really enjoyed reading "My Condolences" by Padmanabhan. I agree that a physician is not merely a mass of medical information, but he is also a human being, and one of his main tasks is to empathize with and support the patients even if there is no cure for them. Good communication, high moral standards and looking at the patient as a "whole person" are crucial factors for the success of any physician. In our current practice and busy life we have lost a lot of these humanistic manners when dealing with patients. I am glad that in our facility, we still have one of our critical care faculty who is embodying the conception of looking at the patient as "whole person"; mentally, physically and spiritually. I was really impressed with his performance and I learned from him that we can do a lot by supporting the patients mentally and spiritually when medicine is unable to cure them. Not only we should keep that patient alive but it is more important to provide good quality of life and to support the patient to face death peacefully when there is no cure. Supporting and providing condolence to the family of a dead patient is part of patient care as well. This is one of the greatest factors that inspired me to think about seeking my career in pulmonary and critical care.

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