Medical Reflections

Reflections of, and reflections on, medicine, health care and the provision of care. The junk drawer of a mind that works in medicine and is interested in compassionate care and medical education.


FIFE in real life!

GP(family physician) registrar patient-centred consultation skills (by gutboymike)

"We usually look outside of ourselves for heroes and teachers. It has not occurred to most people that they may already be the role model they seek. The wholeness they are looking for may be trapped within themselves by beliefs, attitudes and self-doubt. But our wholeness exists in us now. Trapped though it may be, it can be called upon for guidance, direction and most fundamentally, comfort. It can be remembered. Eventually we may come to live by it."

Rachel Naomi Remen
Kitchen Table Wisdom

"Integrity usually comes to people slowly and takes them unawares, as part of a natural process of maturing or through the need to be there for someone else who is counting on them. But it can appear full-blown in times of crisis or loss."

Rachel Naomi Remen
Kitchen Table Wisdom

"In a culture like ours …. there are subtle, enduring consequences that look like personal inadequacy, failure of will, inability or unwillingness to live deeply. … [T]hese problems or struggles are not bad psychology, worse parenting or lousy personality development. … What we suffer from most is culture failure, amnesia of ancestry and deep family story, phantom or sham rites of passage, no instruction on how to live with each other or with the world around us or with our dead or with our history."

— Stephen Jenkinson (via evokit-notes)

(Source:, via evokit-notes)

"If your life to you is a straight line, then it is a disaster when things repeatedly show up and a sign that you aren’t getting far. But if your life is a spiral, circling around the Ancient Tower, then each time they show up it is a blessing, and a chance to bring your wisdom to bear on living well."

— Stephen Jenkinson (via creaturesoflight)

"With global commercialization, clothing that is true to one’s place and people is one of the first casualties, and now all you can tell from a person’s clothing, probably, is where they shop."

— Stephen Jenkinson (via evokit-notes)

(Source:, via evokit-notes)

In this short video Deborah Kimmett applies the rules of improv to working with others.  

What could happen in health care if we applied these two rules:

- Say “yes and …”

- make people look good

By simply accepting, and then trying to build ON, other people’s ideas and making our coworkers look good we could change the climate of our work places, the experience of working in them and, I believe, deliver better care.


"Physician, heal yourself: thus you help your patient too. Let his best help be to see with his own eyes the man who makes himself well.
—Friedrich Nietzsche, c. 1884"

"Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay. In the modern state there are very few sites where this is possible. The only others that come readily to my mind require belief in an omnipotent creator as a condition for membership. It would seem the most obvious thing in the world to say that the reason why the market is not an efficient solution to libraries is because the market has no use for a library. But it seems we need, right now, to keep re-stating the obvious. There aren’t many institutions left that fit so precisely Keynes’ definition of things that no one else but the state is willing to take on. Nor can the experience of library life be recreated online. It’s not just a matter of free books. A library is a different kind of social reality (of the three dimensional kind), which by its very existence teaches a system of values beyond the fiscal."