Intervention of Flavia Caretta

caretta_p.jpgCommunication and relationships in medicine: state of the art

There have been few changes in the life of man as profound as those which have happened in the biomedical sciences and in medical practice in the last few decades.

Enormous developments in the field of technology have brought about unimaginable progress in diagnostic and therapeutic ability and, consequently, the emergence of new branches of specialized disciplines, created to keep up with the rapid increase of knowledge and the ever more sophisticated methods of bio-technology. This has brought about a fragmentation of knowledge.For this reason, on the clinical level, a patient no longer finds him or herself under the care of just one physician, but of several specialists in different disciplines who frequently collaborate.

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Intervention of Mabel Aghadiuno

Medical professionalism: a GP's perspective

A really good liver

aghadiuno_p_.jpg

I remember when I was a medical student the excitement of going round the wards with a keen doctor who would take us to feel a "really good spleen" or listen to an "interesting cardiac murmur".
Like my fellow students in our new, pristine white coats, I was very excited. However, something in me rebelled and a little voice said, "This isn't quite right".
It was not that we did not greet the patient, ask permission to examine and do all that medical etiquette and politeness required. I felt uneasy and could not articulate why.
One day my group was invited by the professor to examine a "really good liver".
We all trotted behind him, got to the patient's bedside and I recognised her distinctive face immediately.
I thought, "This isn't a liver, she's a person - my old teacher".
She had taught me in primary school. It is a lesson that remained with me throughout the rest of medical school and my practice of medicine. Patients have to be seen in their entirety and not as fragmented parts.

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Intervention of Massimo Petrini

petrini_p.jpgHealing the Healer

A subtle uneasiness may be felt by someone who introduces his talk about the art of medicine, when he himself does not have a degree in medicine. It’s like wanting to enter a place without authorization if it weren’t for the 40-years of professional practice in the simultaneous confrontation from the two perspectives:

that of the doctor and that of the patient. And yet, beyond all the legitimizing that comes from scientific learning and a specific profession, the relationship between these 3 – patient, doctor, and the art of healing – pertains to every man and every woman. Getting sick, and therefore becoming a “patient”, is a possibility that is part of human nature, in our mortality and vulnerability.

[1]Cfr. Gensabella Furnari M., Prefazione, in Id. (a cura), Il paziente il medico e l'arte della cura, Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli 2005, p. 5

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Health Dialogue Culture

Health Dialogue Culture wants to contribute towards the elaboration of a medical anthropology inspired by the principles of the spirituality of unity which animates the Focolare Movement and by related experiences made in different countries.

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