Culture & Life · Medicine & Doctors · Recommended movies, books etc.

WIth patients in India getting increasingly impatient with doctors, Paul Kalanithi’s memoir invites us to pause and think

This was published on May 15, 2017 in Here is the link, and below is an extract.

The much-loved and much-reviewed When Breath Becomes Air is a unique autobiographical work by US neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi, a terminally ill doctor-turned-patient who died at age 36… It is useful reading for both the general public and doctors, especially in current times when the patient-doctor relationship in India has deteriorated to perhaps a historic nadir…

The patient-doctor relationship often flounders when either side fails to prioritise the other’s primary identity as a person. The relationship struggles when doctors look at patients only as ‘problems’ that need to be ‘solved’, and when patients look at doctors only as people with ‘solutions’ that need to work perfectly. For readers in India, Kalanithi’s memoir provides a much-needed impetus to acknowledge the fundamentally human nature of the patient-doctor relationship, complete with all its frustrating limitations and exhilarating possibilities.

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