Here I go again, moaning about medicine…

Well, I can’t help myself this time – I can’t remain shtum and let things go.

Now it relates to ‘SDAT’ – does anyone know what that means? Heard the term used in one of the the hallowed assessment units located across our country? In the outpatient clinics or perhaps the doctor’s surgery?

I saw this for the first time a few months ago – I don’t know for sure who started using the acronym, but I have since seen it cropping-up a few times in the hospital. It stands for ‘Senile Dementia Alzheimer’s Type’ – yes; a nasty abbreviation for a terrible disease, packaged in clinical sterility.

This is not a person living with dementia – this has even surpassed the dementia sufferer – a still common descriptor of National Media. This is objectification and medicalisation nonpareil.

I gather that this term is sometimes used in clinical coding circles or, when diagnostic codes are assigned to people who have passed-through (or ?failed-through) a memory clinic;

Name 10 animals that start with the letter ‘P’ – Pelican, Penguin, Porcupine, Ppppp? Pangolin?*

Diagnoses sometimes offer succour, but they are surely only helpful if they convey some compassion, some understanding that a person can’t be minimised like a Microsoft Window into a shadow in the corner.

I read today in one of my patient’s This is Me’s –

‘What is important to me’ – ‘Keeping my hat on at all times’

How precious a gem, how enriching a coda, beyond the diagnoses and the tests, the pathways and interactions – deep into the essence of our patients’ routines, our biases and misperceptions.

Let’s move away from summing people us as acronyms; after all, this is just another way of saying, ‘The Hip,’ or, ‘The Appendix’ – the sophistication of our lives, the richness of our 21st Century experience must be reflected in how we talk, how we communicate with colleagues and ultimately how we perceive those we seek to support.

*Panther, Peacock, Python, Penguin, Pig, Puffin, Plover, Piranha, Platypus, Polar Bear (&breathe…)


Published by rodkersh1948

Trying to understand the world, one emotion at a time.

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