Thomas Egnew clinical professor, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle Discusses Patient suffering and the role of the caregiver

July 27, 2017 Lawrence Laganelli No comments exist

The science of medicine has wrought miracles in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. But the art of medicine remains the medium through which illness and suffering are relieved and becomes paramount when biomedicine runs its course and has little to offer the patient. By practicing the art of the consultation, you just might rediscover and nourish the altruistic motivations that called you to be a healer of which you are, though you may not recognize this truth.


Thomas, believes Educators should explicitly address patient suffering and create on going curricula with improved clinical teaching, faculty role modeling, and student evaluation.

Thomas Egnew is a behavioral science coordinator for Tacoma Family Medicine, in Tacoma, Wash., and a clinical professor in the Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.

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“If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives. That’s the only lasting thing you can create.”  ― Chuck Palahniuk, Choke 

From different perspectives, including psychology, sociology, philosophy, neuroscience and biochemistry. What has emerged in the course of the years is that not only should health professionals learn technical skills, but they also should develop appropriate social skills to better interact and communicate with their patients. 

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