Dr. Rezmovitz is a Staff Physician in family practice at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and a lecturer in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Rezmovitz’s interest in medical humanities stems from his experiences in comedy including stand up and improv. Currently, he is interested in studying the utility of improv training in health care as a way to develop empathy, improve communication skills and team building at different stages of learning (Undergraduate, Postgraduate and independent practice). He also dabbles in poetry, script writing and finding the quirks in life.
I was surprised by my patient’s comment
when she stated in a dry, matter of fact way,
“You’ve got a bedpan manner”.
The learner, smirking, stole a glance my way.
Everyone, (patient included), aware,
the comment was marinating.
I reflected in that fleeting moment
of all the doctors that reminded me of bedpans.
The “old ones” that were minimally porous or reflective.
Cold, hard, objects with poor conductivity
and stainless steel attitudes.
I was not like them.
Warm and engaging,
Empathetic to her experience,
Listening, her words seeped into my core.
And truth be told,
my perception is that I demonstrate excellent conduct.
Therapeutic relationship? I thought…
When Asked to clarify,
She said she was mistaken;
She confused it with my ‘deadpan’ manner.
Then we laughed and thought of other doctors with bedpan manners.
Then we laughed some more.