Saturday, 23 March 2013

Am I too good a listener?

"A good listener"

That is what we all want our doctors to be.
As patients we want to be listened to for practical reasons as well as the emotionally therapeutic benefits. There is a whole 'industry' to listen to patients, which, don't get me wrong, is excellent and much needed. But I want to talk about the listening skills of patients in this post.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

From medical student to patient: my NHS Change Day post

I started medical school in 2007 wanting to 'make people better'.
I stopped medical school in 2010 facing the reality of not being able to get better myself, being ill and later being diagnosed with several long term health conditions.
This post is about my transition from being a medical student, to the other side - being a patient. There are many things I wish I knew about long-term health conditions and patients when I was a medical student. I hope that through this post, current medical students can become aware of some of these things and put them into practice as doctors themselves.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Life Disrupted: Getting Real About Chronic Illness in Your Twenties andThirties (Laurie Edwards)

Life Disrupted was the first book on the #spooniebookclub reading list, and an excellent choice!
Laurie Edwards takes you through the things that matter to young people with chronic illness, and the experiences that define being young and living with chronic illness. As an author, she is a great role model - she not only works, but has created work for herself using her experience. In a culture where you are either healthy and working or sick and not working, Edward's story is a breath of fresh air and a welcome reminder that it is possible to be ill and employed!

Her short chapters make the standard late night reading 'oh just one more chapter' even more tempting, but also provide digestible snippets on each idea. It isn't a novel, and doesn't read like one, yet it doesn't feel like reading a reference book either - I breezed through it, turning each page to see a reflection of myself and my experience.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

My NHS Change Day Pledge

The 13th March 2013 is NHS Change Day - a national day where staff, managers and patients collectively improve the NHS through a number of pledges to change little things. I must admit I have only recently realised that patients themselves can be involved in NHS Change Day, but think it is only proper that we are. The NHS is often referred to as "our NHS" and leaders say it "belongs to everyone", which it does. As patients, we are in the privileged position to influence the NHS for the better (patient power!) and both as individuals and together, we have the potential to catalyse the transition to a more effective NHS that delivers better services for us more often.
So what can I do on the 13th March to add my little bit to this great big movement?