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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

For many years: Crying by doctors

Dr. Amina Hassan Abdeldaim's letter to the Editor:

"A Mantra: No Crying in the CAT Scanner" on Feb. 1, Dr. Ellen Feld's exquisite telling of her experiences during her own treatment for breast cancer, finally allowed me to let go of the tears I have been blinking back for many years.

As a physician at a cancer hospital, I am in awe of the patients' stoicism and strength. If my patient cries, may I cry too? Will it help or hurt the patient to know I may have a dose of "unprofessional sympathy"?

Advice to doctors: Your compassion and empathy are much appreciated. I hope you can find some way to show that, maybe by letting yourself cry.

Read another story about compassionate physicians. Thanks to Dr. Abdeldaim and the editor of the New York Times, where her letter was published today.

1 comment:

Ed Casey said...

I am not even a clinical person per se. I supervise a Sterile Processing Department. I do however make it a point to look at patients and visitors and at least say hello. Its suprising how much that is appreciated by them.