Friday, May 25, 2012
The Opacification Of Intent
Years later, medical science has advanced far past the boundaries of these so called dark ages. People are living longer, healthier lives. Although the scourge of disease is being successfully battled on every front, the doctor-patient relationship is more fractured than ever. We have lost the position of our brother's keeper. Suspicion and anger have become empathy's uncomfortable bedfellow.
So what has changed? The doe eyed medical student who cautiously peers into the room of her first hospital patient is lauded. This poor soul has emptied her bank account and devoted countless hours to master the self serving mistress of knowledge. The frail, emaciated, cancer riddled patient reaches his hand out to her, even as his body is failing. For they are comrades who struggle and suffer together. No one doubts what drives the student's heart.
As one advances into practice, a metamorphosis occurs, and thus begins the opacification of intent. A geographic barrier is formed when a patient has to travel to the physician's office. Medicare and the modern insurance complex cause an economic barrier as the patient is required to disclose payment information even before an appointment is made. A physical barrier is placed between doctor and patient as we hide behind our electronic medical record and use technology in place of touch.
We have allowed for the institutionalization of empathy and we suffer the consequences.
Yet I still believe our intentions are pure.
Posted by Jordan Grumet at 5:20 AM