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Monarch Tree Publishing

The Other Side
Listen to an excerpt from
the Foreword of The Other Side of the Doctor - Patient Relationship.

The Other Side of the Doctor - Patient Relationship

The Other Side of the Doctor-Patient Relationship is a candid back porch conversation with Dr. Ralph Hudson about his interesting life as a surgeon and his observations of health care during the last half century. Known for his caring bedside manner, he advises "Never go into a room thinking you're some sort of godlike authority. You can actually be a friend."

The book also reveals Dr. Hudson as a patient when he was "hipless and hopless after six different hip surgeries - but never hopeless." "Communication is vital in the doctor-patient relationship. When we seek medical attention, it is so important that we are understood. You'll never understand another person's hurts unless you have experienced the same hurts."

His experiences as a doctor and as a patient make Dr. Hudson uniquely qualified to speak about The Other Side, whichever side of the doctor-patient relationship that might be. In this book he does so in a conversational style that transports the reader to his back porch, learning from his experiences.


"As a teacher of health education, a national consultant, and a very active member of my community, there is no doubt in my mind that Ralph Hudson is a compassionate and giving human being. You will find The Other Side of the Doctor-Patient Relationship to be an inspiring book - with stories which illustrate the tremendous impact one can have on the lives of others. What better tribute is there than that Ralph has made a positive difference in the lives he touched - including mine.” Deborah L. Tackmann, B.S., M.E.P.D, Health Education Instructor and Author, Disney American Teacher Award Honoree, National Health Educator Award Recipient


After forty years as a surgeon/physician on one side of the bed, Dr. Ralph Hudson experienced six hip surgeries that gave him the perspective from the "other" side of the bed. His book, The Other Side of the Doctor - Patient Relationship, tells of his life as a physician and also of his months as a patient. Most interesting are the lessons that he learned on both sides.

One of those lessons was the art of communication, which he considers "the cornerstone of the physician/patient relationship." He accepted the advice of Dr. Osler, a widely quoted and most wise physician, 'listen to the patient. He/she may actually tell you what is wrong and lead you to the diagnosis.' Dr. Hudson often found patient roadblocks and potholes that were hindrances to communication, including the following:

  1. I'm on somebody else's turf and on their timetable. I'd feel easier in a more familiar home setting.
  2. I clam up when I get nervous - and I'm always nervous in the doctor's office.
  3. They're so smart, and they'll think I'm so dumb.
  4. I'm really worried about money - what will it cost?
  5. I can't concentrate on what they're saying when I have pain, a full bladder, or diarrhea.
  6. My background, my bringing up, makes me uncomfortable about topics such as sexual activity or bowel movements.
  7. I'd feel more at ease seeing a female physician - or a male physician.
  8. They probably won't believe me. They'll think it's all in my head.
  9. I forget so easily. I forgot to ask about a mammogram or about that mole on my back.
  10. I can't understand what they're saying because my hearing is bad - but I'm too embarrassed to admit it.
  11. I'm so tired of waiting that I'm in a bad mood.
  12. They take me down when they say," Why didn't you come sooner?" "Didn't you know better?"
  13. I'm afraid to ask about charges I don't understand because I don't want to be labeled a complainer or a hypochondriac.

Since his primary goal was helping the patient, Dr. Hudson believed that "a willingness to listen - not only to listen, but to hear what is said - and not only to hear what is said, but to hear what is trying to be said" was at the heart of the art of medicine.

Dr. Hudson also describes medicine as a "team effort." "One memorable afternoon, the surgical staff presented me with colorfully wrapped package in the surgical lounge. With little formality, I tore away the wrapping paper and out of the box came a Care-Bear." Created by the head nurse's mother, Care-Bear became the mascot for a "day of caring". The head nurse, Garnet Bast, Dr. Hudson, and Care-Bear established this special day as a celebration of caring, not only between employees and patients, but also among the employees for each other. "The spirit of the day was magnificent - much more than we envisioned. Departments such as medical records and housekeeping all at once became proud and saw themselves as part of the total hospital effort."

One nurse commented to Dr. Hudson that "medicine changes so much. What will never change is our caring for people. That's what this book is all about." Another thanked him for "bits of advice that will help in providing better patient care." A third said, "We should always nurse from the other side of the bed. Thank you for writing a book to ensure that we never forget that side." Interestingly written and easy to read, The Other Side of the Doctor - Patient Relationship feels like you are having a back porch conversation with a wise friend. Since Dr. Hudson can't physically do that with each one of us, reading his book will do so instead.

Price: $17.95 plus tax, shipping and handling.

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