Patients' stories vital to medicine
I enjoyed the President's Message by David L. Bronson, MD, FACP, in the September 2012 ACP Internist (“Stories of real patients reinforce the values of medicine”). Having been in practice myself for more than 40 years, I also have lots of stories such as these. As someone once said, “It's the stories that keep us going.” I cannot envision retiring from practice and losing out on all this. To be able to participate in the whole life cycle of our patients is a great privilege and a great joy. And, as Dr. Bronson suggests, it keeps you both humble and human.
I find it lamentable that many doctors just entering practice today will never get to know their patients well enough to appreciate their stories. More and more, internists now participate only in episodes of care. How that diminishes the role of the doctor and the experience of the patient!