This week on Here After with Megan Devine:
Connection is the best medicine: with Dr. Rana Awdish
Ever wonder what doctors say about their patients when they think no one can hear? Dr. Rana Awdish doesn’t have to wonder – as a patient, she overheard a lot of distressing things. Her experience led her to change how medical providers speak about – and to – their patients, spreading compassion through communication (which we know is a mission dear to my heart). Listen in to hear Dr. Awdish’s take on the pressure on healthcare workers, too.
“I’ve come to know that people call you a hero when they’re going to force you to betray yourself, and that that is a signal that you are being sent into a situation that will not leave you whole.” – Dr. Rana Awdish
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In this episode we cover:
- The “two educations” of Dr. Awdish – med school and a life threatening illness
- Why miscommunication is such a dangerous medical practice
- The well-intentioned, but wrong approach of trying to help people survive a violation of their values and their beliefs by reminding them of their strengths
- Being present is only the first step – validation is where the real healing begins
- Why compassionate communication helps doctors – maybe even more than it helps patients
- The very cool CLEAR program – it uses trained actors to help doctors and medical providers learn how to connect with patients going through some of the hardest times of their lives
Content note: mention of life threatening illness, pregnancy loss, medical industry
About our guest:
Dr. Rana Awdish is a critical care physician operating on the front lines during COVID-19 at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI. Her own serious illness in 2008 has informed her belief in the power of compassion, sacred listening, and community. As medical director of the Care Experience for the Henry Ford Healthcare System, she is training staff to practice empathy in critical care. Find her book, In Shock: My journey from death to recovery and the redemptive power of hope, at ranaawdishmd.com.
Read “Restoration in the Aftermath” from Dr. Awdish here
Creative Writing as a Medical Instrument – paper by Jay Baruch, cited by Dr. Awdish
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