doctor-patient connection

Serving Patients Through a Screen

Years ago, when telemedicine first edged into my clinical consciousness, I pooh-poohed it as a second-rate simulacrum, valuable perhaps for rural communities lacking access to specialists, but otherwise hardly worth the crinkly exam paper it was replacing. I’ve staked my entire career on the irreplaceable value of the connection between patient and clinician. But I’ve changed…. More

Memorializing Covid

COVID-19 does not seem amenable to grand memorials, at least right now. Perhaps because the millions of deaths from COVID-19 have been diffused so widely, often in isolation—and of course still ongoing—the memorials that are starting to crop up are very human in scale. More

“What Doctors Feel” in Chinese

你好 Nǐ hǎo! Beacon Press is excited to announce that “What Doctors Feel” is now available in Chinese! More

How to Improve the Doctor-Patient Relationship

Danielle Ofri talks with Elena Sung from the “Power of the Patient Project” about how to improve the doctor-patient relationshipe. More

“What Doctors Feel” in Korean

안녕하세요 “What Doctors Feel” is now available in Korean! The perfect complement to your bibimbap-and-kimchi lunch. More

Art & Anatomy

The “art of medicine” is a term that is used—sometimes disparagingly—to refer to the non-technical skills of medicine. Artistic rendering enables us to appreciate the emotional grappling one must do in the world of anatomy and in the larger world of medicine. More

Viva Italiano!

Ciao! We are thrilled that “What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear” is now available in Italian. Grab an espresso and your copy of “Cosa dice el malato, cosa sente il medico.” More

One Last Visit to See My Patient

My 91-year-old patient and I had been together for some 20 years — honestly I’d lost count — so visiting her at home, even in the torrential rain, was the least I could do. More

Why Medicine Needs Poetry

“When patients come to us with headache, and stomach pain, and foot pain, and 300 other issues, they are really speaking in metaphor. We may call it somatization disorder, or write them off as “complainers,” but in fact, it is metaphor. To be skilled clinicians—and to get the right diagnosis—we must be able to interpret our patients’ metaphors.” More

“What Doctors Feel” in Japanese

こんにちは “What Doctors Feel” is now available in Japanese! The perfect complement to your sushi-and-sake lunch. More

Patients Need Poetry…And So Do Doctors

Sometimes it is the things we deem least practical that wield the most power. In fact, poetry’s impracticality may be its strength. By being just words on a page, it isn’t expected to pull the weight of chemotherapy, antibiotics, or an MRI machine. So when a poem does pack a punch, we’re often bowled over. More

Creativity in Medicine

“What are you doing creatively these days?” It’s not a question you hear commonly. Medicine is a field with a strong history of creativity, but its daily practice feels less and less creative More

Chekhov and Public Health

At first glance, it might seem odd that a public health journal would initiate a section about arts and humanities. Public health, after all, deals with populations; it eschews the individual except as it forms one of a group. The creative arts, however, deal almost exclusively with individuals. Literature, in particular, always has a protagonist, and the protagonist is never ‘alcoholics with pancreatitis,’ ‘female prisoners receiving hepatitis B vaccination,’ ‘South Asians with cardiovascular risk factors,’ ‘UK asylum seekers with infectious disease,’ or ‘teenaged asthmatic smokers.’ A protagonist is an individual.
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Dance and Medicine

It was on a desolate winter evening that I escaped from Bellevue. I plunged the last IV of my day into someone’s vein and then hopped on an M-15 bus uptown, pressing my subway token into the slot with both anxiety and relief. I was in the second year of my internal medicine residency training, the middle year, which is marked by what is charitably called a “dip” in motivation. More accurately, it is a pit, a chasm, an abyss, a Stygian marsh. More

Writing About Patients: Is it Ethical?

There is a veritable epidemic of doctor-writers out there. What about confidentiality? Professionalism? HIPAA? More

Books by Danielle Ofri

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