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  • Writer's pictureBarbara J MacFarlane, MD

Wisdom With Medicine - The Call Back.

Updated: Jan 15, 2018

My current practice of medicine includes treating the very healthy who want to maximize their performance and also treating the very sick who are confined to hospital. It is the two opposite sides of health, yet very rewarding. Many a time I am reminded by a human need or a human kindness that life has many wisdoms to learn. From time to time I will write about these calling them "Wisdom with Medicine".

Today, a sister of a patient who died a couple weeks prior called me to talk. She just wanted to talk about the death of her elder sister. Why such a sudden death? Why do some poeple die of pneumonia when others do not? Should she feel guilty that she brought her sister to the hospital when there was an influenza outbreak in the hospital? Did she die of influenza? She just needed to talk to someone. Someone who could give some answers but more importantly would listen. I listened and answered and expressed many times my true sympathy to her and her family. After a few minutes, she said that is all she needed, she just felt she had to talk. Medicine is more than an exact science, more than the examinations I do, more than the medications I prescribe. It is about being there for the patient and often their family after they are gone. As a physician I see glimpses into to people's lives and their experiences that are often painful. It provides a wisdom that life's little moments of being there for someone, even for a few minutes is often all someone needs. What are your wisdoms of life?


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