My Favorite Questions On The Oncology Floor At The Johns Hopkins Children 's Center

853 WordsJun 27, 20154 Pages
One of my favorite questions to ask is, “No, really – how are you?” For my close friends, the follow-up is no surprise, but others are often taken aback. Perhaps it’s not surprising that we become hesitant, even uncomfortable when someone genuinely wants to know how we’re doing, with the ever-increasing pace of modern life. But I have found that society often underestimates the power of taking a genuine interest in the well-being of others. This is especially true when it comes to medicine, where compassion and empathy play vital roles in patient care. To me, improving the quality of patient-physician interaction is of utmost importance, something I discovered when volunteering on the oncology floor at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. Not long after I started, I struck up a conversation with the mother of a patient, who confessed how scared and alone she felt throughout her child’s treatments. I was grateful that she was able to confide in me, and knew that these feelings were normal when parents are faced with a cancer diagnosis. But I was bothered knowing that she didn’t feel comfortable talking to her child’s doctors about issues that weren’t directly related to medical treatment. After this experience, I started paying closer attention to how medical professionals interacted with both patients and their families. The quality of patient-physician interactions varied wildly between doctors, but I noticed that compassionate and enthusiastic interactions always had a

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