|The Resourceful Patient|
Home > text
of the book > section 2
> section 2
|2.1 'Let's open this chest fast'|
|2.2 Doctor as watchmaker - making a diagnosis|
|2.3 Doctor as watchmaker - appraising options|
|2.4 Doctor as tailor - applying research to the individual|
|2.5 Doctor as adviser - communicating information without framing|
|2.6 Doctor as witchdoctor - allaying anxiety|
|2.7 Doctor as St Peter - approving access to illness|
|2.8 Doctor as drug|
|2.9 Clinician as healer|
2: What do doctors do all day?
Understanding disease and concepts such as cancer or atherosclerosis is obviously of great importance in improving communication, but nouns like 'cancer' and 'atherosclerosis' derived from the vast terminology of medicine have little connection with the consultation and the interaction between clinician and patient. The issue about how clinicians diagnose cancer or more subtle health problems like depression requires an understanding of the clinical process, what we may refer to as the grammar of medicine, as opposed to the vocabulary. In this section of the book the grammar of clinical practice is set out and the description of what doctors do all day gives an outline of what is happening in every consultation and every clinical decision. The various dimensions of what doctors do each day is described by analysing the clinical task in the way set out below.
2.1 'Let's open this chest fast'