Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Orphan Patient

Walter Shelley wrote this important poem about those patients who challenge all of us. We published it in Dermanities a while back and recently Bhushan Kumar from Chandigarh brought it to our attention again. Thank you, Bhushan! Some of the patients who find their way onto this Blog or VGRG

Here it is for those who may have missed it in Dermanities.

Prayer of the Orphan Patient to the Doctor

Walter B. Shelley
Dermanities May 5, 2007; 5(1)

Prayer of the Orphan Patient to the Doctor

Walter B. Shelley & E. Dorinda Shelley

Listen to me

Don’t be cynical, indifferent, or in a hurry.
Ask me what makes my problem better or worse.
Ask me what I think the cause is.
Ask me to look for clues and teach me what they are.

Think about me

Think of my problem when you read those books, journals, and atlases.
Think of my problem when you attend meetings.
Think of asking your colleagues about me.

Test me

Order specific tests to help you decide on my diagnosis and treatment.
Could I have AIDS, cancer, or lupus?
Do I need a biopsy? A challenge with a medication?
Do I need hospital help?
Do I need to see a consultant?

Don’t give up on me

There is always one more treatment you can try. Just imagine I have a different disease and treat me for that.
See me during an attack to get new ideas and new tests.
Ask me lots of questions during every visit.

I won’t give up on you, for I am an orphan

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