The film WIT provided me with a unique opportunity to understand a patient’s perceptions of the health care system while fighting cancer. The concepts learned in our nursing courses on caring and professionalism were critical to keep in mind while watching and interpreting the content of this film. A professional is an individual who is “conscientious in actions, knowledgeable in the subject, and responsible to self and others” (Potter & Perry, 2005). The patient, Vivian Bearing, experienced a number of unprofessional behaviors from those providing her care. The film began with Vivian learning of her new diagnosis. The doctor, Dr. Kelekian, labeling her diagnosis was a perfect depiction of “unprofessional.” He simply told Vivian her diagnosis in medical terms, “Stage 4, metastatic ovarian cancer”, with no further explanation of what it meant. Vivian was puzzled with questions such as, “What is metastatic? What defines stage 4? Does this mean I’m going to die?” Without giving any explanation of the medical diagnosis, the patient had no conception regarding the seriousness of her situation. The doctor next told her that she would have to get chemotherapy. This was very surprising to me. He was so irresponsible to his patient as to not even explain the treatment options to her and fail to ask if chemotherapy was what she wanted to proceed with, but told her that it was the next step.
Dr. Kelekian continued throughout the movie to maintain his role as an insult to the professional standards of behavior. At one point in the film, he used Vivian as a specimen of symptoms with a group of residents in her exam room without even obtaining her permission for them to enter. He completely degraded Vivian by not even acknowledging her presence, but by talking with his group of students about her cancer and chemotherapy using medical terms that she could not altogether interpret. During this scene he asked the students a quiz of what they noticed about Vivian, to which the students did not get the correct answer, and he said that she had lost her hair. This was so embarrassing and disrespectful toward his patient. Dr. Kelekian was very unprofessional by displaying unconscientious actions and irresponsibility to Vivian.