Friday, February 21, 2014

Another post on empathy-- because I'm a slow learner

      Much as I'd like, I cannot do much to change the beliefs, assumptions, and thought processes of the patients that come into the Emergency Department or the clinic. Patient after patient over the past two weeks have vividly revealed to me the importance of uncovering a patient's true expectations. Even though I may have done the right thing from a purely medical standpoint, patients have sometimes been dissatisfied because I have failed to meet their expectations in some way. As physicians, we obviously should not always give patients what they want-- but we should endeavor to acknowledge, respect, and address their underlying concerns. This can only be done well when we possess true empathy, for it is only with empathy that we can see a thing from another's perspective. That is what we should all endeavor to have in ever-growing quantities, and it is why we should continually seek to catch fresh glimpses of the "Man of Sorrows" whose whole life was a perfect portrait of other-directedness.

No comments:

Post a Comment