doctor-patient relationship

Empathy in the Age of the EMR

We doctors have been reduced to tools of mere data entry. A higher being might peek into our exam room and be unable to distinguish the doctor from the sphygmomanometer. There is at least one upside to this mess, however. The aggressiveness of the EMR’s incursion into the doctor-patient relationship has forced us to declare our loyalties: are we taking care of patients or are we taking care of the EMR? More

The Day After the Elections

Depression, anxiety, thoughts of suicide–these are the very real side effects of Trump policies. My visit with Mr. A on the morning after the midterm elections seemed to crystallize all the bitterness of what has been unleashed in this country, and the effects it has on the people who suffer under it. More

Prescribing Democracy

“There cannot be any doubt,” Dr. Rudolf Virchow wrote in 1848, that the recent typhus epidemic was a result of “poverty and underdevelopment.” His prescription was “free and unlimited democracy.” Hmm–a prescription for democracy. Not something you get at your average doctor’s visit. But maybe that’s what we need. More

Doctor Visit Guide

Going to the doctor isn’t most people’s favorite activity. I often get asked by friends and family how to make the most of a medical visit. Here’s my advice, and it’s basically the same whether you are the patient, or a family member or a caregiver of the patient. More

The Most Powerful Tool in Medicine

Danielle Ofri speaks at the Mayo Clinic about conversation as the single most powerful tool in medicine. 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

Healthcare’s Biggest Conflict of Interest

The doctor-patient relationship is a one-on-one interaction, and so conflicts of interest are concrete and directly personal. Medical decisions can be swayed by money, even unconsciously, regardless of whether it’s from insurance companies or from industry. But the most basic conflict of interest is that health care access is tied to health insurance. Presence or absence or extent of health insurance is the most powerful influence on how doctors care for patients. More

A Singular Intimacy

Despite enormous advances in healthcare, patients and caregivers alike are dissatisfied with their experience. So much of medicine has been boiled down to rote algorithms and assembly-line care. Seeking inspiration from the gripping narratives of urban medicine to the unlikely poetry of the ICU, Danielle Ofri probes the most fundamental aspect of medical care—how caregivers and patients connect. More

POTUS 2017 TV Interview

Is there a difference between calling an insurance company about a prior authorization and calling a Senator about legislation? Danielle talks about why doctors and nurses need to stand up politically for their patients. More

Interview on WKPCC radio

Should doctors and nurses be politically active? Is there a conflict of interest? Is it okay for medical professionals to discuss politics with their patients? Listen to a discussion of the ethical issues of medical activism. More

Interview on WBYU Radio about Healthcare Reform

Are doctors and nurses ethically obligated to stand up against a law if they think it will harm their patients? Danielle talks to Julie Rose about the formation of HouseCallsCampaign, a grassroots effort to encourage medical professionals to call Congress and give their medical opinions. More

#HouseCallsCampaign

Asking all nurses, doctors, and medical professionals to call their senators and let them know how the proposed healthcare legislation will affect their patients. #HouseCallsCampaign More

Time for the Medical Profession to Stand Up

Advocating for patients is as much a part of medical care as the medical care itself. Should that advocacy, however, extend beyond the doctor’s office, when politics has palpable effects on patients’ health? Most doctors see an intrinsic distinction between calling an insurance company and calling a senator. But in terms of our patients’ health, there is a moral argument that they are equivalent More

Losing a Patient

He made his way into my exam room supported by two metal crutches that braced at the elbow, lurching his withered legs forward, step by excruciating step. He was a wisp of a man, barely clocking in at 100 lbs—wasted away, it looked like, from untreated polio and a lifetime of subsistence living. Yet somehow here he was in bustling Manhattan, having managed to navigate our bureaucratic hospital system just a few months after arriving from East Africa. More

“Healing Words” interview

Danielle interviewed at the Mayo Clinic about writing, healing, and medicine. More

Books by Danielle Ofri

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