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Anna Rauch

The Surgeonīs Stories of Pain

The Impact of Pain on Doctor-Patient Relationships as exemplified in Richard Selzerīs "Raccoon," "Brute," and "Mercy"
2015. 144 S. 220 mm
ISBN: 3-639-85613-9 (3639856139)
Neue ISBN: 978-3-639-85613-2 (9783639856132)

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Most of us know what it feels like to be a patient, to be in pain. Pain is a warning signal telling us that something is wrong with(in) our body, and it ultimately reminds us of our mortality. The moment we enter the hospital, we want doctors to improve our health, to diminish our pain and, above all, to assuage our fear. When we seek help we tend to forget that doctors are also human beings; we want them to treat us as quickly and efficiently as possible. Thus, we ignore that hidden underneath the white coats and the surgical masks there are people with needs of their own: we look at the medical profession only through the patientīs eyes, but we hardly ever consider the doctorīs point of view. Therefore, this thesis unveils how doctors experience their own varieties of pain as well as to what extent they are affected by their patientsī suffering. It analyzes three surgical short stories by Richard Selzer, whose writings provide a new perspective on medicine: They encourage the patients to ponder a role with which they are totally unfamiliar, to broaden their horizons, and to immerse themselves in a science and a profession which would otherwise be out of their reach.
Mag.phil. Anna Rauch, born in 1988, grew up in Italy and currently lives in Innsbruck (Austria), where she works as a secondary school teacher. She has a degree in English and German (with specialization in American Studies) and completed her teacher training in 2015 at the University of Innsbruck.