Publication: On Being a Patient

An editorial in the International Journal of User Driven Healthcare.

Chatterjee P. On Being a Patient. International Journal of User-Driven Healthcare. 2012 Oct-Dec; 2(4): 57-9. doi:10.4018/ijudh.2012100109

Published narratives on doctor-as-patient experiences show that physicians become more empathetic once they have gone through the process of being a patient. In this article, in response to a published doctor-as-patient narrative, the author enquires into the possible reason for such empathy-in-hindsight. The objectified and structured medical education system which puts little emphasis on soft skills, a rapidly evolving technological-diagnostic revolution that is distancing the patient from the doctor and lacunae in development of communication skills in doctors come up as probable reasons for this. Narratives of physician-patients provide good learning points, especially with respect to the lacunae in the teaching of empathy, communication and humanities in medicine.