S2-E39 – Exploring the Concept of Healing within Patient Care

In episode #39, Andrew and Maxi build off of their previous conversation with Deri Latimer from episode #38. Deri had talked about challenging the stories we tell ourselves.

With this podcast, the concept of healing is explored, and why we as physiotherapists may struggle with the concept of being a healer.

Key Topics Discussed:

  • Is there a resurgence of healing in medical care?
  • Why do we struggle with seeing ourselves as healers or the concept of healing within our practice?

This topic really was triggered from reading an opinion piece from the New York Times, called “Doctors, Revolt!” which you can read here.

It shares the story of this resident physician’s encounter with Bernard Lown, professor and innovator in cardiac rehab (he pioneered the use of the direct-current defibrillator and the cardioverter). He also wrote a book on healing called “The Lost Art of Healing”, and he was now a patient in this resident’s hospital.

The resident was challenged by Dr. Lown about the need for vitals every four hours and how disruptive this was for rest and healing. The hospital, he lamented, is more like a factory; “it tests every ache and treats every laboratory abnormality, but it does little to heal its patients.”

Treating and healing are both necessary, but modern health care too often disregards the latter.

I know we both really resonated with the message in this article about a return to healing. And as physiotherapists we wanted to explore this topic in more detail.

He called for a return to the fundamentals of doctoring — listening to know the patient behind the symptoms; carefully touching the patient during the physical exam to communicate caring; using words that affirm the patient’s vitality; and attending to the stresses and situations of his life circumstances.

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