In a challenging disease setting at a major cancer center, Dr D'Angelica and colleagues in psychiatry and surgery present data from a survey tool indicating that patients chiefly identify the senior surgeon as their essential source of information and emotional support. I am unable to resist 2 untestable observations: (1) a good psychiatrist is worth his or her weight in gold; (2) despite my self-perception (undoubtedly inflated) that I am a sensitive physician, I am continually surprised by in-depth insights good psychiatrists elicit from patients.
Goodnight JE. Surgeon-Patient Communication in the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer—Invited Commentary. Arch Surg. 1998;133(9):966. doi:10.1001/archsurg.133.9.966