“..one of the major sources of emotional and spiritual suffering among patients who are nearing the end of life...is the abandonment they feel when they stop being cared for by a physician to whom they have become attached."
Jul 16, 2014 | 1104 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A recent New York Times article – http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com * noted “The sudden termination of a close doctor-patient relationship is a common, wrenching scenario. “I can tell you, it happens all the time and it breaks the heart of patients and families and oncologists,” said Dr. Diane Meier, director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine in New York City.”

‘Yet it was routine for oncologists at University of Chicago Medicine.. to stop seeing patients when treatment ended. “The model was, you get to know the patient and their family, you treat them aggressively, but when the time comes that you don’t have any more therapy to offer, you make a referral to palliative care or hospice and the patient goes under their auspices,” ‘

‘That isn’t to say it’s justified. “No physician should ever say there’s nothing more I can do,” said Dr. Timothy Moynihan, medical director of the Mayo Clinic hospice….noting that oncologists can remain involved with patients in hospice as the physician of record. “There’s always something more we can do for the patient — if only to be there and listen to their stories and deal with their pain and suffering.”

* to read the full NYTs article “When the Doctor Disappears” by Judith Graham highlight and click on open hyperlink http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/14/when-the-doctor-disappears/?hp&pagewanted=print

Note: This blog shares general information about understanding and navigating the health care system. For specific medical advice about your own problems, issues and options talk to your personal physician.

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