By Clare Hawkins, M.D., M.Sc.
TAFP President, 2013-2014
Electronic opportunities to connect with friends, family, and colleagues abound. I can communicate very quickly with people I know and people I don’t know. I can broadcast ideas by blogging and I can post photos or see others’ photos in many ways. This is both exciting and frightening. Who am I reaching? Who knows these details about me?
As a family physician most of my contact is with individual patients or their families, essentially one on one. Therefore these new opportunities are not familiar to my normal social intercourse. I’m so used to confidentiality and preserving my professional image that in my middle age, I find myself uncomfortable reaching out.more
By Lloyd Van Winkle, M.D.
It used to be that when I had a patient whose health was declining and he or she was nearing the end of life, I would direct the patient to hospice care.
Hospice would take responsibility for the patient’s care, and I would receive updates by phone. I might go by and see the patient once or twice. Ultimately, I would be notified that the patient had died, and I would call the family to offer my condolences.more