From patient to friend

by swright on February 7, 2013

Today at Medical Grand Rounds, Dr. Randy Barker described a process that he undertook recently after retiring from years in primary care practice.  Dr. Barker sent letters to many of his longtime patients asking if he could come by for a social visit.  The Grand Rounds was filled with beautiful stories and pictures.  While Dr. Barker had always been exemplary for getting to know his patients as people, he explained that the visits gave him deeper insight and provided detail that he had sometimes wondered about.

Seeing the patients in their homes gave him the opportunity to discover even more explicitly what was most important to each of his patients. One realization that Dr. Barker described was the discovery that religion and spirituality appeared to be an even greater part of many of his patients' lives than he had surmised.  He also described realizing more vividly than before the many things that he had in common with so many of his patients. 

At the end of the talk Dr. Barker shared a poem that he wrote which spoke about the transformation of many of the doctor-patient relationships into friendship.

Many of the patients who were visited attended the grand rounds and were in the audience. They stood up in turn and expressed their gratitude to Dr. Barker for his unwavering compassion and they reminded us all to follow in the footsteps of this tremendous role model.

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1 Comment

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Meg Chisolm February 7, 2013 at 2:36 pm

I'm very sorry to have missed this Grand Rounds - was it recorded? Please, say yes!

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