Simon Cocksedge, Bethan George, Sophie Renwick, Carolyn A Chew-Graham,“Touch in primary care consultations: qualitative investigation of doctors’ and patients’ perceptions.” Br J Gen Pract. 2013 Apr; 63(609): e283–e290. Published online 2013 Feb 25. doi: 10.3399/bjgp13X665251
Ted J. Kaptchuk, OMD. “The Placebo Effect in Alternative Medicine: Can the Performance of a Healing Ritual Have Clinical Significance?” Ann Intern Med. 2002;136(11):817-825. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-136-11-200206040-00011 (for purchase)
Maizes, Victoria et al. “Integrative Medicine and Patient-Centered Care” Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing , Volume 5 , Issue 5 , 277 – 289 (for purchase)
There are few who combine a career as physician, teacher and author as well as Abraham Verghese, whose name is a frequent byline in newspapers and magazines across the world, and more recently, in demand as a TED speaker. He himself is also a regular focus of attention in media – both medical and general – that range from National Public Radio, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the New York Times to The Guardian, and The Times of India.
His work as a physician informs his writing and the reflection that comes through his writing helps him empathize with his patients, and to see them individually, as human beings who are suffering, fearful and in need not just of treatment, but of comfort and reassurance. Imagining his patients’ experience has driven his work throughout his medical career. His emphasis on empathy and healing is the focus of his talks, nationally and internationally, as he stresses the importance of the patient-physician relationship in an era of advances in medical technology that often tend to de-personalize medical care.
“I still find,” he says, “the best way to understand a hospitalized patient is not by staring at a computer screen, but going to see that patient. For it is at the bedside that I can figure out what’s important to the patient and how the data you have accumulated makes sense.”
Standford University created the WELLMD website to support care providers. Their goal is to see the following:
-Doctors who take care of themselves:
-Are better role models for their patients.
-Are better role models for their children.
-Have higher patient satisfaction and safety scores.
-Experience less stress and burnout.