The Power of Patient Stories: Learning Moments in Medicine

Overview

These reflections from the career of a prominent physician help students and the public better understand patient care through insights gained from his stories. Medical knowledge and technology are advancing faster than we can learn to apply them wisely. The pace of change threatens the humanistic aspects of patient care. The arts of listening, observing and examining, and the values of professionalism, ethics, and humor are threatened; both patient and physician are dissatisfied. It is time to restore balance in...
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Overview

These reflections from the career of a prominent physician help students and the public better understand patient care through insights gained from his stories. Medical knowledge and technology are advancing faster than we can learn to apply them wisely. The pace of change threatens the humanistic aspects of patient care. The arts of listening, observing and examining, and the values of professionalism, ethics, and humor are threatened; both patient and physician are dissatisfied. It is time to restore balance in the care of patients by reinforcing the importance of these skills-and this groundbreaking book does just that.
By sharing remarkable patient stories accumulated over almost six decades, Dr. Paul Griner shows how the somewhat elusive concepts intrinsic to "the art" of medicine can be better understood and applied in the day to day care of patients. Provocative questions at the end of each story challenge the reader to avoid a premature response, reflect more deeply on the question and learn how much of medicine is not black and white. Included are such compelling questions as: How do you respond to a parent who insists that her twenty-two year old daughter not be told she has leukemia?, What do you say to the mother of a nineteen year -old son who begs to let him die so that he can be relieved of the agonizing complications of his aplastic anemia?, How do you advise the pregnant wife of a medical resident who wishes to defer treatment for Hodgkin's Disease, for months, until after the baby is born?, How do you account for a patient whose leukemia disappears without treatment?, How do you respond to the death of a patient from an intern's careless act?
These and almost fifty other stories provide a rich learning experience for both patients and health care professionals alike. A clarion call to balance humanism and technology for the benefits of a system that is breaking apart, Dr. Griner's collection of stories is a revelation. Exploring the variety of patient problems to delineate points of learning and personal growth, The Power of Patient Stories, Learning Moments in Medicine is a must read for patients and health professions students.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Griner, a medical doctor, offers a straight-talking diagnosis of social lapses in medical training and what can be done to rectify them. Technological advancement often means medical practitioners have to play catch-up. As medical practice globalizes and new technologies proliferate, doctors could become less familiar with their patients' medical histories and, Griner warns, they could be too quick to defer to readily available solutions, thereby wasting money and endangering health. But thankfully, Griner says, there's a cure. In a remarkable assemblage of both pre-existing knowledge and novel approaches drawn from a multitude of sources, ranging from Hippocrates to contemporary studies of the medical community, Griner makes a case for the importance of the human aspects of treatment, which he illustrates with a plethora of anecdotes. "Professionalism and sound clinical skills mark the good physician," not only education and access to remedies, he argues. Griner's experiences are manifold, and he recounts them with the sensitivity and intelligence one expects from a competent physician. He tells of the influenza epidemic in Boston in 1960, when Massachusetts General Hospital didn't have enough respirators to go around, of performing an emergency resuscitation on a patient using stripped radio wires and two needles and of finding an aorta defect in a medical school classmate that's still causing symptoms several years later. The various accounts are organized logically, with special attention paid to how they might be useful to students of medicine, including a series of reflective questions that follow each anecdote. Griner admirably balances his profession's technical lexicon with a steady, well-paced narrative, which, taken as a whole, provides a varied but cohesive examination of many crucial issues facing bioethicists and the medical profession in general. Though intended for medical students and those practicing the profession, these well-crafted anecdotes constitute an informed, fresh perspective of use to anyone interested in modern medical practice.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781478178309
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/23/2012
  • Pages: 204
  • Sales rank: 529,239
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Griner is an Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, Rochester, N.Y. He was also a Senior Lecturer at Harvard and Consultant at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Institute for HealthCare Improvement in Cambridge, Mass.
Paul is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry (with honor). He took his residency training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and was then Chief Resident and Hematology Fellow at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. He served as a Captain in the United States Air Force and was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal.
Paul is recognized nationally for his studies, in the 1970s, of quality of care, most particularly the cost, in dollars and lowered quality, of the excessive use of diagnostic tests and procedures. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and was President of a number of national medical organizations including the American College of Physicians.
Teaching has always been Paul's highest priority and his greatest privilege. He has been a teacher and mentor to hundreds of students, residents, fellows, and faculty. He was the recipient, in 1982, of the first mentor award given by the University of Rochester. He is the author of over 130 scientific publications. His book, The Power of Patient Stories: Learning Moments in Medicine, is a work intended for both students of the health professions and the general public. It is an example of the use of stories to make a teaching moment memorable for the learner.
Paul's son and daughter are both college professors, carrying on a tradition of teaching that now spans four generations. His first wife, Mimi, died in 2005 and he is now happily married to Margaret, the widow of his late identical twin brother. He enjoys fishing, travel, golf, and his extended family which now includes an additional three children, thirteen grandchildren, and two great gran
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