Mutual understanding helps build strong bonds, including those between clinicians and patients. How can patients learn more about the world of the clinicians who care for them? One way is by reading true stories of clinical encounters.
Today I'm recommending Patients are a Virtue. Written by Brian T. Maurer, a pediatric Physician Assistant (PA) with over 30 years of experience, the 57 stories are unvarnished accounts of common clinical situations. Besides being short - or very short, the stories are easy reading.
What I particularly like about this book is how, unlike most "doc-lit" (I just made that up!), Maurer's vulnerabilities and insecurities are displayed along with his insightful diagnoses and meaningful patient encounters. And unlike tidy television shows that tie up all the loose ends before the final commercial, some of Maurer's stories have no resolution -- just like in real life.
Holiday suggestion: Patients are a Virtue makes a great gift for people who might appreciate a peek into the world of their clinicians, as well as for the clinicians in your life who practice the art of compassionate medicine.