Reflections on the illness experience of a family physician

Schaefer, Rachel ; Jenkins, Louis (2015-02)

CITATION: Schaefer, R. & Jenkins, L. S. 2015. Reflections on the illness experience of a family physician. South African Family Practice, 56(6):324–325, doi:10.1080/20786190.2014.975502.

The original publication is available at


Tuberculosis is such a part of our everyday lives that I have never stopped to consider the illness experience regularly lived by our patients. As a seasoned family physician in public service, I have initiated hundreds of patients on tuberculosis treatment, simply informing them of their diagnosis and advising them to go to the clinic to obtain their medication. Even with the use of a patient-centred approach and shared decision-making, I did not give much thought to understanding the implications of how this diagnosis impacts on a patient’s life. That was until I was faced with tuberculosis myself.

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