More Than Just A Diagnosis

1625 Words Aug 15th, 2014 7 Pages
More than just a diagnosis

To listen to personal stories of what it is like to be unwell is an incredible way for medical students and doctors to learn about illness and gain firsthand insight into ‘Whole person care’. Earlier this year, I got the opportunity as part of our ELM3 Healthcare in the Community (HIC) group to meet and learn about a member of the community with a traumatic brain injury and her interactions with healthcare professionals and personal journey towards recovery. An open discussion allowed us to learn about her narrative, which provided many examples of the distinction between disease and illness and the importance of a patient-centered approach to healthcare.

This opportunity is one of many the Otago School of Medicine and its HIC programme have organised to build a foundation and develop into becoming a well-rounded and patient-focused doctor. It has allowed me to learn a vast amount about myself and certainly has expanded my views on the importance of patient-centered healthcare. This essay is a reflective piece where I will expand on the story of Miss X and some specific learning experiences that have helped me appreciate the integrated approach to the healing process of medicine as well as the importance of the doctor-patient relationship.

Approximately twelve years ago, at the age of twenty-one, Miss X was involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in a traumatic brain injury and leaving her in a coma for nine and a half weeks. Upon…

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