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Monday, September 24, 2007

Stuck With Me

Well, for the next year or so, anyway, Caroline and Jin, first year students at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, will be. Lucky them!

As participants in the LEAPP (Longitudinal Experience to Appreciated Patient Perspectives) Program, a required part of their curriculum, the students will keep in regular contact with me. They will visit with me at home at least once, go to some of my doctor appointments (I have plenty of those), and even see me in the hospital if I spend any time there, though I certainly hope I won't.

Course Director Dr. Paul Lanken, who addressed volunteers today, acknowledged that some doctors are obviously better from the technical side of things than they are at interacting with patients. But at Penn, he explained, the goal is for aspiring doctors to learn to truly empathize with patients.

So what do I get in return? Aside from knowing that I'm helping future doctors and patients, I get a captive audience that actually wants to listen to my inane wisdom and pathetic humor. Hey, I couldn't even PAY my own sisters to do that!

Welcome to Winheld's World, Caroline and Jin, and good luck with your studies...


Sue said...

I sure hope you don't get the doctors that are really bad at patient interaction, although I know you could teach them a lot about that.

Josh Winheld said...

Hi Sue,
Yes, I have unfortunately had doctors like that before. But these students seem very caring, so hopefully that continues when they become doctors.