A look at the emotional side of medicine - the shame, fear, anger, anxiety, empathy, and even love that affect patient care.
Physicians are assumed to be objective, rational beings, easily able to detach as they guide patients and families through some of life's most challenging moments. But doctors' emotional responses to the life-and-death dramas of everyday practice have a profound impact on medical care. And while much has been written about the minds and methods of the medical professionals who save our lives, precious little has been said about their emotions.
In What Doctors Feel, Dr. Danielle Ofri has taken on the task of dissecting the hidden emotional responses of doctors, and how these directly influence patients. How do the stresses of medical life - from paperwork to grueling hours to lawsuits to facing death - affect the medical care that doctors can offer their patients? Digging deep into the lives of doctors, Ofri examines the daunting range of emotions - shame, anger, empathy, frustration, hope, pride, occasionally despair, and sometimes even love - that permeate the contemporary doctor-patient connection. Drawing on scientific studies, including some surprising research, Dr. Danielle Ofri offers up an unflinching look at the impact of emotions on health care.
The stories here reveal the undeniable truth that emotions have a distinct effect on how doctors care for their patients. For both clinicians and patients, understanding what doctors feel can make all the difference in giving and getting the best medical care.
©2013 Danielle Ofri (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I was particularly fond of Dr. Ofri's discussion of the research regarding physician empathy for their patients and how it varies widely among medical specialties. The chapter on physician disillusionment was also very good.
Their were a few stressful, anxiety-provoking passages that made me cringe. If these sections are difficult for you, I recommend you power through them. The rest of the book is worth it!
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