Generally, medical education serves a fundamental purpose of preparing proficient physicians. However, the achievement of this purpose is determined by the transmission of skills and knowledge that inculcate therapeutic values and qualities in an equally integrated way. Medical humanities provide an understanding of human conditions, infections, and misery and an individual point of view together with competence and accountabilities to oneself and even others who may include professional colleagues and patients. Medical humanities are therefore crucial for the achievement of high-level proficiency of future physicians. Clinical judgments are usually based on visual experiences hence implying the importance of visual impressions on the administration of medical services. The focus of medical humanities is on the significance of education to the acceptance of indistinctness in the patient-generated images which are used to establish clinical reasoning.
Even though there is a wide range of treatments available for the most predominant illnesses, there are also circumstances that are not responsive to fast and efficient modes of treatment. For instance, physicians who attend to patients who suffer from diseases like cancer or other chronic illnesses like heart disease or mental disorders must increasingly offer care and treatment that may in return cause suffering in themselves. However, the rise in demand for treatment of such conditions by the patients to various physicians implies that most of the patients prefer acts of humanity like the comfort of kindness to the supposed physical and emotional severity of contemporary therapeutic methodologies. Therefore, this can form an argument of the fact why there is an increased demand for medical practitioners to have the capability to understand and respond to various emotions of a variety of patients. That implies that medical humanities are essential in preparing more empathetic and proficient medical practitioners.
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down express two complex ideas of which are customs of the Hmong people and the potential risks of lack of communication. Generally, it is the misconception of these two complex ideas that led to the outbreak of most of the conflicts in the text. For instance, the belief of Lia's parents that her seizures were more of a blessing than a medical problem which even though helped them with the capability to cope, hindered the proper acquisition of treatment which led the severity of her medical condition. Also, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down portrays the essence of communication as a contributing factor in most of the healthcare mistakes which depict the need for several enterprises across the healthcare settings to improve the communication skills of health practitioners.
The cultural beliefs of the Hmong people as portrayed by Fadiman did not appreciate some western healthcare practices like blood transfusion because they believed that the body has a definite amount of blood. Therefore, performing blood transfusion is likely to be fatal and even the fact that surgical operations would prevent the rebirth of subsequent soles which led to the struggle of western medical practitioners with Hmong patients. The condition of Lia in the text needed emotional care because even though her doctor assumed she would die and told her family to take her home, she still survived and lived for twenty-six more years with the love, care, and support of her family. This aspect portrayed in the text affirms the significance of medical humanities towards the provision of care and treatment for some chronic illnesses.
The complex issues portrayed in The Spirit Catches You, and You Fall Down are also portrayed in the text Why Doctors Should Read Fiction to demonstrate the inadequacies of medical humanities in the administration of healthcare services using fiction hence implying the necessity of medical humanities to contemporary health services. In the text Why Doctors Should Read Fiction a mid-aged woman who suffers from a hysterectomy is bluntly informed by her anesthesiologist that she is supposed to do away with her dentures earlier to the surgery. However, Audrey does not want to remove her dentures because it would lower her dignity if her husband sees her without them. However, the anesthesiologist insists that she removes them for her safety, a move that is well perceived by Audrey. However, later Audrey agrees to remove them after establishing a better rapport of communication with a younger physically handicapped after explaining her dilemma. In this text, the perception of Audrey regarding the anesthesiologist is of snobbish behavior and demeaning her because she is a woman. That implies the lack of open communication between Audrey who is the patient and the anesthesiologist which upholds patient autonomy to reduce healthcare risks during the administration of treatment.
In both texts which are The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, and Why Doctors Should Read Fiction, the essence of proper communication as an attribute of medical humanities is well developed because in both cases, it is the lack of adequate communication that resulted into the difficulties in the administration of healthcare services to patients. Therefore medical humanities should be incorporated into contemporary medical studies to prepare medical practitioners with insight into diverse human conditions and health challenges to enhance the perception of patients and even individual opinion. By so doing future physicians are likely to attain quality education of handling healthcare risks.
Fadiman, Anne. The spirit catches you and you fall down: A Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures. Macmillan, 2012.
Kean, Sam. "Why Doctors Should Read Fiction". The Atlantic, 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/07/medicine-doctors-fiction/566342/. Accessed 6 Dec 2018.
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