This was not some sweet ingénue recounting the early lessons she learned from a recent encounter with health care. Nope. It was a 62-year-old woman whose husband has been struggling with multiple myeloma for the last eight years and who herself has chronic back pain, high blood pressure and high cholesterol and was at the time well into treatment for breast cancer.
Part of me says “Ahem. Have you been paying attention here?” and another part says “Well of course! How were you supposed to know this? Have any of your physicians ever described their scope of expertise or practice to you?”
I can see clinicians rolling their eyes at the very thought of having such a discussion with every patient. And I can imagine some of us on the receiving end thinking that when raised by a clinician, these topics are disclaimers, an avoidance of accountability and liability.