Palliative Care: A Module to Remember.
This module is one of a kind! Not only did it provide us with a myriad of interesting articles, but also it made us get involved in constructive in-class activities that can help shape us into better physicians in the future. The three most important aspects of this module are: .
1. The Patient's Suffering.
On the one hand, this module introduced us to what a patient's suffering is all about. In contrast to most of our responses during the first session, a doctor does not ONLY help others, but he/she does also ONLY cure a disease, and he/she does not ONLY think of making money! A successful doctor is one who primarily makes new connections and digs deeper into the lives of his/her patients so as to alleviate or, at least, reduce their pain and suffering by making them seem more valuable. For example, knowing that a sip of coffee is a great source of pleasure to his/her patient, a doctor might get an idea of how to somewhat relieve the stress the patient is going through, especially when the latter knows that his end is near. .
To succeed in unleashing the major causes of their patients' conditions, doctors are supposed to look at their patients as persons, not merely diseases. In fact, neither were Biology sessions during secondary school nor were the premedical courses at AUB sufficient to answer the question I was always eager to answer: "what is suffering?!" Before this course, the sole answer I could find was that suffering stems from the pain a body encounters throughout a period of illness. Based on the readings posted on Moodle, it seems that suffering is not confined to a patient's physical body, nor is it limited to the patient himself. In his article "The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Medicine," Eric Cassell raises an important issue concerning the problem of "pain and suffering". He stresses the fact that despite the availability of a myriad of reports addressing major aspects of physical pain, the medical literature seems to lack studies that focus primarily on "suffering.