Friday, March 31, 2006

"Minority reports"-badly needed for "minority patients"

After I have completed this chapter of my life, I hope to be able to move on to a post-doctorate position. My intended area of research? A focus on minority patients: e.g. The 20 year old with Parkinsons Disease, the man with breast cancer, or the intelligent, beautiful, rich girl with a perfect family suffering ., the young career woman with .

All too often, “support”, if there are any, are not personalised enough. As always, people always tend to generalise, although this is no fault of theirs. The problem is; most care managers, support group leaders, nurses and doctors and whoever that are supposed to help patients are only able to effectively help the majority, or in some instances the vocal groups. Lack of knowledge, or subconsciously turning a blind eye is often the case. Sometimes, the needs of people who are not within the “usual” or “most people with disease X” are not acknowledged, let alone validated or supported.

When will people do something about this? When there is a pile of evidence (ie, environmentally destructive pile of papers or research), piled so high that it would be impossible or politically disastrous to ignore.

Research in such “unscientific” topics will not gain you much recognition (be prepared to be ridiculed!) in the medical or scientific community. When you announce the findings of your study, cynics will dismiss the results of your work as something that could be conceived without involving so much time and resources (if only you use your common sense or have more empathy for the patients), or that there is something which is lacking in terms of “scientific rigor”.

There is truth is these criticism, esp about the empathy and common sense part. What is senseless is most people (including these “experts”) will not use their common sense until some “research” or papers point to some everyday facts.

My conclusions: Trees have to be sacrificed in order for “minority patients” to see common sense applied to them.

Note: Many people are incredibly understanding and supportive of "minority" patients. Unfortunately, these people sometimes have to justify their supports to the majority.

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