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« Compassion and Computers IV | Main | Dr. Harpham Talks about Compassion »

March 13, 2013


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Bill Kleine

My experience of both working with and going to many different doctors is that, when I am their patient, they never tell me what they think, but they always tell me what they know. Very computer-like: you don't see the underlying logic, just the output. And so I have learned to pay close attention to the doctors I work with and even closer attention to those who work on me. I rarely read compassion on a surgeon's face [or any other part of their body language] but I know it's there. My first surgeon became human when he told me about a patient [completely out of the blue as we were walking down the hall after my 6 month dismissal] who had recently presented to him just like I had, but was only in his early 20's and he had to sew him up without doing anything. He was a very taciturn man, but his eyes filled...

Radiologists? While I've had countless CT's x-rays MRI's and a couple of PET's thrown in, I've never actually seen one.

Doctors like Wendy Harpham MD who chose to practice the kind of medicine requiring they meet with what, maybe 30 people a day, did so because they really like people. Unless I'm completely withdrawn into myself with fear I see it every time. I like every one of my doctor's so much I don't even mind the $40 copays. I just wish we could all meet under different circumstances.

It's much more fun at work because we work as a team and the Medical Consultant sometimes has to explain what they think and why so we can figure out how the law [Social Security] should be applied to an individual circumstance. I am always in awe of how much they know about medicine.

Poker faced or not, I've never met a doctor who "was in it for the money." Logic by it's very nature, is without passion. I thank God for what makes us human every day.

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