Let’s teach doctors there are more ways of knowing

Almost three years ago exactly, I published an essay here on Synapsis titled “In Defense of Humoralism.”  In it—to briefly summarize—I highlighted how common ways in which patients understand the etiology of their illnesses and formulate folk treatments can often be understood as humoralistic.  Consequently, physicians dismiss these ideas as superstition, as they do not…

Pain is complex. We should treat it that way.

Steve Server// “What sort of pain is it?” Often, when health care providers inquire after patients’ pain, we get a sort of flummoxed look.  In response, we sometimes get a confused chuckle. As first year medical students, we are trained to differentiate sorts of pain: crampy vs. electrical/burning; dull vs. sharp; localized vs. radiating.  As our medical…

Cutting: Traditions in anatomy and Thanksgiving

Yoshiko Iwai // The three of us go around the table to introduce ourselves, smiling under our masks and glasses, warming up our fresh scrubs. I had never met either of them before or even seen their faces through Zoom. A moment of silence passes. The guy across from me offers to hold the instruction…

The Empathy Exams Revisited

Sara Press // On Saturday, May 5th, 2018, I went in to the BC Children’s Hospital to see a doctor about a lump in my neck. It might seem strange that a twenty-seven-year-old was going to a Children’s Hospital. Perhaps even stranger that I was seen by fifteen medical residents that day, and had to…