Dec 21, 2019
Jonathan Weinkle, MD, is a general internist and general pediatrician who came to medicine after deciding against careers as a philosopher or a rabbi and is the author of Healing People, Not Patients. He starts off by teaching us how he was able to write a book about his patient interactions without violating HIPAA. His book illustrates the many ways in which it is important to really know our patients as people in order to effectively treat them. The paradox of this is that there never seems to be enough time to do this well, so Dr. Weinkle teaches us how to connect without losing efficiency. While cultural competency is usually discussed, Dr. Weinkle believes that cultural humility really the key – recognizing we don’t know what we don’t know about someone else’s culture. How to keep moving through a visit if you are really listening “with both ears,” but the patient continues to repeat themselves as if you aren’t listening. He also discusses the importance of allowing the patient to set the agenda and then establishing limits to that agenda at the start of the visit.
He practices primary care medicine at the Squirrel Hill Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center and certified Patient Centered Medical Home, providing comprehensive care to patients of all ages with and without insurance and representing a broad diversity of languages, faiths, cultures, native lands, and socioeconomic backgrounds. In addition, Dr. Weinkle serves as a medical advisor to the Closure project of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF), a project intended to improve the quality of care and change the individual experience at end-of-life. Under the auspices of the JHF, he is crafting a program to help clinicians master the core competency of respectful communication with patients and families, based largely on the ideas in this book and the research underlying it. Finally, Dr. Weinkle serves as Clinical Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Family Medicine at his alma mater, and as Medical Director of the Physician Assistant Studies Program at Chatham University. Driving all of these endeavors is a strong commitment to infusing his interactions with patients with the core values of his Jewish faith, beginning with the idea that both patient and provider are created in the Divine image and must act and be treated accordingly. He can be found at http://healerswholisten.com and @healerswholistn on Twitter.
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