Patient as Healer


June Pham, MD

Perm J 2018;22:15-134 [Full Citation]
E-pub: 10/22/2018

It was my first appointment after 4 days off to attend an unanticipated illness, death, and funeral for a beloved aunt. I was quiet, solemn, and ready to be back at work, but … changed. My first patient was a Christian minister. Not my own denomination, but that was never relevant. He was a middle-aged, overly nourished Hispanic man who was serious about his work and overall contented, but he was never able enough to control his type 2 diabetes despite massive insulin injections and extensive coaching. Quickly into the visit, after the usual questions and answers and advice, he asked me what had changed in my life. I told him and tears came to my eyes. He sat with me in silence, then asked if I would like him to pray with me. I hesitated only momentarily, then said, yes. I was grateful. This was the first time a patient ministered to me. I felt healing.

How to Cite this Article

Pham J. Patient as healer. Perm J 2018;22:15-134. DOI:

The story “Patient as Healer” was originally published in leaflet, 2017;5(2). Available from:



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