A Standardised Patient’s Story

The CLAHRC WM Director loves beautifully written articles about the doctor-patient relationship – a beautiful and precious thing that must be defended against all emotionally shallow attempts to downgrade it. The New England Journal of Medicine recently carried a moving story from a Standardised Patient (SP) (‘fake’ patient).[1] She recounts, in a tender way, her interaction with a generation of medical students who she taught and examined, then describes her own severe illness, bone marrow transplant, and recovery, before concluding with an account of her experience of resuming her SP role. May I entice you to read it by closing, for this year, with her closing words, “If I can help aspiring caregivers learn how to reach through the quagmire of dread and pain to help patients get through their most trying times, it will have been worth every awkward encounter and psychosomatic symptom I’ve suffered along the way.”

— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director

Reference:

  1. Cole EA. My Life as a (Fake) Patient. N Engl J Med. 2015; 373: 2302-3.
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