Monday, January 1, 2007

clinical innovations, the place for poetry, Twenty Clinical Innovations to Build Patient-Doctor Trust: Twelfth in a Series

A Change of Pace

In this amateurish poem, my first 2007 blog, I contend health care needs poets and artists just as much as we need computers. This may be because my son, Spencer Reece, is a poet. My other son, Carter, has the tastes and soul of an artist. Fathers become doctors so their sons can become artists.

I’m no poet, but in this blog you shall see,
I have carried out a poetic change of pace.
When we talk of what medicine should be,
We prattle on about the technological race.

We praise computers’ many advantages to the skies,
But computers aren’t the only kind of bio-enterprise.
Too often we forget the basic ecology of technology.
That computers can fix anything is pure mythology.

For every conceivable highly technical advancement,
There is a separate but equal high touch enhancement.
For every biotechnology-developed anti-cancer drug,
There surely will be a counterbalancing emotional hug.

The hug might come from a support group,
Or from drinking a hot cup of chicken soup,
Or from a soothing massage by a skilled masseuse,
Or from being subjected to skilled acupuncture use.

With every single ounce of technological passion,
There must be a corresponding pound of compassion.
The Web and wireless phones not only concern technology,
They’re about communicating, connecting, and psychology.

Computers may turn on a dime and save time,
But they don’t replace a sublime artistic mime.
In medicine computers have a role.
but they have yet to save one soul.

That the computer will be the do-all and cure-all,
is a message resonating with blind technophiles?
Techies believe computers will solve every shortfall,
but computers can’t mimic human styles or wiles.

We may suffer from hardening of digital categories,
Similar in some ways to hardening of human arteries,
People take pleasure from the creative, verbal and visual,
Above all else, we humankind treasure the truly original.

Do payers and managers rely too much on data?
Is data for health care providers the true intifata?
Ordinary mortals may say, in God we trust,
but managers say, show me data or go bust.

I say: high tech health care’s computers and scanners,
must be softened through interactive human manners.
So wake up! You computer geeks!
Give more of what humanity seeks!

What patients seek are accessible understandable clear facts,
Explained for ordinary mortals, something the system lacks,
So automate facts, add simple words and pictures, stir, mix, and serve on the Net.
Patients, and doctors who care for them, will be forever in your everlasting debt.

Here’s a more upbeat take on technology ecology by a real poet – Richard Brautigan

All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace

I like to think (and
The sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and
live together in mutual
programming harmony
like pure water
touching clear sky.

I like to think
(right now please!)
of a cybernetic forest
filled with pines and
where deer stroll peacefully
past computers
as if they were flowers
with spinning blossoms.

I like to think
(it has to be)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our
and joined back to nature
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.

Richard Brautigan, 1968

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Twas a dual of two poets...I personally liked Richard Reece's poem over Richard Brautigan's piece.