Spinning Hope

by Joanna Smith on Jun 1, 2009

In the last two months, I have accompanied three clients through their first appointment at a Comprehensive Cancer Center. These facilities are located all over the country, frequently at major medical centers which also tend to be teaching hospitals. And I have left those appointments with a feeling of hope for the medical care system of tomorrow…..

It’s not about the electronic medical records (which are definitely still a “work in
progress”!) or even the options of clinical trials and top-rated medical oncologists,
surgeons, interventional radiologists, skilled nurse practitioners—these are all very
important in ensuring delivery of extraordinary care–no, it was the medical students
and residents that gave me hope. They had carefully reviewed records before talking
with their patients; they were sensitive in their questioning , careful in their exams,
and knowledgeable about social and emotional resources that might help. They were
developing all of the characteristics that will make them compassionate clinicians,
dedicated researchers—and, most importantly, physicians with a human touch. It was
heartening to see.

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