The Best Medicine? What’s Meaningful to Our Patients

On a patient’s request to dance with his daughter

“My own breath caught at the poignancy of the request. I remembered the first time I danced with my daughter, when she was only days old and I hugged her tight to my body, and the weddings we attended when she was the same age as my patient’s daughter. I would escort her to the dance floor as she carefully placed her pink sparkle shoes atop my staid black leather ones, while I raised and lowered them to the beat of the music. With the memory, I felt the gentle pressure of her weight on my toes.”

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Mikkael Sekeres, MD, MS, shares a heart-breaking interaction with a patient, and why sometimes what’s meaningful to patients matters more than medicine, in this New York Times column.

Dr. Sekeres is Director of Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center’s Leukemia Program. You can follow him on Twitter @MikkaelSekeres.