When Doctors Get Sick

title slideA brief brush with illness during my intern year led me to reevaluate the duality between physician and patient. I began to really wonder what it might be like to be a patient; to see the hospital from the inside out, to wear a gown and not a white coat, to ask permission rather than give orders, to anticipate the results of a biopsy or test with fear rather than intellectual curiosity.

I decided to interview doctors with a significant chronic or fatal illness. The results were both heartwarming and bittersweet. What I did not anticipate heading into this project was how secretive physicians would be when discussing their illnesses. In a profession that demands herculean feats, disease is often the first sign that we, as physicians, are vulnerable. While there are lessons to be learned about how we can be better doctors, I hope this project also opens up the discussion of how doctors can be better patients. – Dr. Mallika Dhawan

While we are not consented to share this piece online at this time, you can hear Dr. Dhawan’s opening comments at a recent event where this work was shared: https://vimeo.com/69556262

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