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Prayer of the Orphan Patient to the Doctor

Feb 22, 2015 12:27 AM

Shelley’s “Prayer of the Orphan Patient to the Doctor” by Walter and Dorinda Shelley

Listen to me

Don’t be cynical, indifferent, or in a hurry.
Ask me what makes my problem better or worse.
Ask me what I think the cause is. Ask me to look for clues and teach me what they are.
Think about me
Think of my problem when you read those books, journals, and atlases. Think of my problem when you attend meetings.
Think of asking your colleagues about me.

Test me

Order specific tests to help you decide on my diagnosis and treatment.
Could I have AIDS, cancer, or lupus? Do I need a biopsy?
A challenge with a medication?
Do I need hospital help?
Do I need to see a consultant?

Don’t give up on me

There is always one more treatment you can try.
Just imagine I have a different disease and treat me for that.
See me during an attack to get new ideas and new tests.
Ask me lots of questions during every visit.

I won’t give up on you, for I am an orphan

Feb 22, 2015 12:48 AM

WOW! That's pretty powerful. It is something we all wish for I think. It's so sad that our society, health insurance companies and many other factors influence the way physicians practice medicine that it is difficult to find that doctor to listen to our prayer.

Feb 22, 2015 10:27 AM

That is a very good description of all of our wishes towards doctors. Beautiful!

Feb 22, 2015 10:52 AM

Fits to a tee especially when they tell you "we have no idea and even if we did there is nothing we can do for you".


I often thought of taking it to my Doctor but my view of Doctors isn't the same as theirs is of themselves so I never bothered.

Feb 23, 2015 12:51 AM

WesternCanadian, that is an amazing piece of literature!!! It definitely is heart wrenching because, dealing with these issues during my life, I can "feel" what the author is saying.

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