Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Resist the urge to label everything a disease

Patients. PARAGUAY

Patients. PARAGUAY (Photo credit: Community Eye Health)

From the 7 July 2011 post at KevinMD.com

Every patient is the only patient.
– Arthur Berarducci

Each person in need brings to us a unique set of qualities that require unique responses.
– Don Berwick

Disease-ify: To generalize and then classify a unique person’s health complaint in order to match them with an effective remedy that ends to encounter; often done out of convenience, expedience, or for profit.

Unique is a funny word. Every time I come across it, I am reminded of my high school English teacher’s admonition that qualifying the word–very unique, kind of unique–is inappropriate. Things are either unique, one of a kind, or not.

 

Although Dr. Berwick did not have my English teacher, I think he would agree that each patient’s presentation is unique in this sense; it is one of a kind. Even the most mundane complaint is buried in a rich social and genetic context that simply cannot be reduced to a chief complaint.

As a moral enterprise, medicine seeks to serve patient interests, and few interests supersede the need to be treated as the unique identities that we are. …

July 11, 2012 - Posted by | health care | , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: