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My Editorial Petard

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In that light, I would like to extend the conversation by adding a few rules for medical professionals when dealing with caregivers and our loved ones.

  • Do not generalize when talking about our loved ones. All AIDS caregivers are not gay and all Alzheimer’s caregivers are not elderly.

  • When talking to us and our loved ones, no matter what the degree of our loved one’s mental acuity, look directly at both of us.

  • An appropriate touch (i.e., on the shoulder) shows your concern better than staring at your charts.

  • Looking us in the eye when greeting us with a warm handshake can go far to show us how much you care.

  • Please address your patient or client by name, not “Sweetie,” “Dear,” or some other such phrase. Not using a person’s name can be seen as condescending or even disrespectful.

It is vitally important to share the best applications of your medical knowledge base, but it is also good medicine to share your heart.


Gary Barg

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