Conversations I Wish I Had


It’s so true. Reminded me of this: “We have made virtues of independence and objectivity, though it is where lives intersect that medicine is practiced. We teach doctors about clinical depression but very little about human misery and we teach them how to treat cancer but next to nothing about how to deal with the fear of death. We train doctors to be scientist problem solvers, viscera-mechanics rather than holistic practitioners who will sooner or later discover that what ails the body also ails the soul. In part this is because medicine has provided us with a taxonomy of suffering according to whether it can provide diagnostic proof, therapeutic intervention or profits. What falls outside is none of our business, in the widest sense of the word. We propagate a medical persona, individually and collectively internalised, that unlike our patients we are healthy, resilient, rational and indefatigable.[ii] We proudly display our passports for the kingdom of the healthy, because secretly, we believe that the kingdom of the sick is a punishment for weakness of the will, lack of stamina or moral turpitude. Little surprise then that for too many doctors, death is preferable to being seen to be vulnerable or weak. Ours is a one-way mirror, designed to protect us from our own suffering and vulnerability, but allowing us to look right through it and see in others what we fear in ourselves. ” Full text at:

Behind the White Coat


The photo circulating around the internet, that one of the doctor crouched down outside reportedly weighed down by the grief of losing a patient…

I swear I have seen that photo somewhere before. Years ago. Maybe it is just because I relate. Maybe I saw something like it involving another physician. Dunno.

I am glad that this is out there but to be honest it has bothered me on some level that it took a photo to get people to talk about doctors caring.

Yes, we do feel.

Sure, you don’t see that as a patient. In a crisis you don’t want your doctor breaking down, overcome with emotion. We push it back, bury it. We have to so we can do our job.

Then afterwards, we have guilt. We weren’t good enough. What right do we have to something so selfish as our own grief? That was not our

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This entry was posted on March 29, 2015 by .
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