The Traditional Physician 's Narrative Essay

1050 Words Oct 7th, 2016 5 Pages
The Traditional Physician’s Narrative
The traditional physician’s narrative lacks the compassionate side of the physician, and avoids mention of any interpersonal relationship between patients and doctors. Medicine often dictates that physicians remain in a state of detached concern, which permits treatment and generalized humanitarian concern but rejects sincere compassion. All of Us and Lessons from the Heart of the AIDS Epidemic challenge this traditional narrative through the lens of Dr. Mehret Mandefro and Dr. Kate Scannell, respectively. Dr. Mehret, a doctor in the Bronx, asks why black women have the highest rate of HIV infection and engages in personal relationships with her patients, who parallel her own life. In Dr. Kate’s testimony, we see her transformation from the “ideal” traditional medical professional to one whose humanity pervades her work. The future of the physician’s story should include the doctor-patient relationship, and the perfect physician should permeate rather than mask compassion in his or her work. Compassion in medical care moves beyond an improvement of patient outcomes and results in genuine awareness of shared experiences between the doctor and patient and the recognition of the patient-doctor narrative’s importance in the broader HIV narrative.

Professional Barriers? Throughout Mehret’s documentary and Kate’s writings, one sees the obvious breakdown of the division between professional and personal life. Kate and Mehret engage in…

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