June 18, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Written by Victoria Almeida, Communications Work-Study Student

King’s Professor Dr. Bharati Sethi was a panelist at the Thames Valley Family Health Team Annual Conference on May 30, 2018. The panel called, “Our Stories: Being Heard and Feeling Understood”, allowed panelists to share their personal interactions within healthcare through the voice of lived experience.

Dr. Sethi spoke on how her interactions with healthcare systems have been both positive and negative. Dr. Sethi discussed her positive interaction within a healthcare office and the great impact that having an empathetic healthcare worker had on her. Cultural competency and cultural humility were elements that resonated with Dr. Sethi. Having doctors and healthcare professionals that sincerely cared for her health and comfort were things that resonate with her to this day.

Dr. Sethi also talked about her negative experiences within the healthcare system. The story that she shared was one that was filled with pain and judgement. After her mother passed away, Dr. Sethi experienced mental health struggles. However, she was not met with compassion and empathy during her visits with healthcare professionals. Instead, as she put it,  "strange voices talked over my body, about my body, about me.” Dr. Sethi expanded on this experience when participating in a Q&A session after the panelists shared their stories. When asked about what she would say to a healthcare professional in regard to better patient treatment, Dr. Sethi responded with a simple, yet telling answer – see the patient you are serving as an individual person, not just their problem.