Sunday, January 18, 2015

On "End of Life Comfort"

Dr. K works as a consultant for Palliative care in our hospital. Once he told me that he used to be a private GP in community but one day he decided to switch and became an end of life or palliative care physician. I asked him what makes him to switch his sub-speciality. He said: "Being a GP, I was a horrible clinician. I used to make many misdiagnoses. In outpatient setting, it was not a big deal but I had to go through guilt trip every time I misread a clinical sign. One day, it dawned to me that if I cannot provide a good comfort to people who are alive and active, at least I can be a good provider to make people at deathbed to die with dignity and comfort. Dignity and comfort at death is something which is often missing in today's medicine. And, I am happy I made a right choice".


bsc said...

Very interesting that a physician criticized himself. I think every physician should think like that. These days I am reading some interesting comments from retired neurologists about how older physicians are 'looked' at by hospitals or by other physicians. In my practice I saw some of my colleagues and I am sure you will in your practice come across these questions. A tricky and ticklish question

mystic-soul said...

Unfortunately - satisfying paperwork, fulfilling guidelines, carry out protocols, judging success of numbers and documenting chart has taken precedence over human compassion in modern medicine.