Dr. Wendy Harpham is a doctor of internal medicine, cancer survivor, and award-winning and best-selling author of books about cancer: Healthy Survivorship, recovery and late effects, and raising children when a parent has cancer. She is also a public speaker, patient advocate, and mother of three.
An op-ed piece in yesterday's Los Angeles Times by Susan Silk and Barry Goldman presents a simple and provocative tool that "works in all kinds of crises – medical, legal, even existential." It's called the 'Ring Theory' of complaining.
A physician's encouraging word or hand squeeze can mean the world to a patient, buoying the patient's courage and fortitude. But in today's complex world of high-tech medicine, what patients need most from their physicians is what I call "medical" compassion: