Throughout your time in medical school, especially during your third and fourth year, you’ll find yourself somewhere in the hospital. You’ll get used to the noise, bright lights, new technology, codes, focused clinical staff, and a plethora of machinery. I can imagine at some point, you’ll feel a sense of pride in your career choice. After all, we’re able to save lives, fix body parts, and cure diseases, right?
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia
Cutting-edge research and advancements in technology have left bedside manner and patient connection in the dust. We often forget that science is only half of the equation. Medicine is also an art—the missing half. If medicine is capable of extending life, then aren’t we morally responsible to soothe the suffering of the ill?
I’ve often been told by retired physicians that if you want to be the best doctor to a patient, then you need to, “Listen to your patient. Treat the patient, not the disease. Always offer a hand and a smile. You will be the best doctor they’ve ever been to, even if you don’t have all the answers.”
In fact, medical studies prove that compassion has a positive impact on health and patient satisfaction, so why are we forgetting the power of human touch and compassion in medicine? After all, didn’t we sign up for this job to care for others?
In our modern lives, technology reigns, but I urge you not to forget the healing power of compassion and human touch.