Bringing Doctors to the Dying Patient's Bedside
This a very cool and touching article about returning the human element back to doctoring. It describes a program designed to encourage and promote better interpersonal relationships between doctors and patients, starting at an academic level.
The program, which also helps family members who are struggling with terminally ill loved ones, was part of an innovative new center for humanism at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School in Newark. The center offers four-year scholarships for students with outstanding academic and community service records.
The lasting and altering impact of the movement described in this article is still undecided at this point. I honestly hope that I don't change for the worse over the next couple years.
Critics assert that the benefits of such programs are transient at best, pointing to failed efforts of generations past. They maintain that once young doctors are exposed to the dehumanizing forces of internship and training and to the financial exigencies of practice, they will lose even their most cherished ideals.
But those who have researched the impact of the newer initiatives disagree. They counter that over the last two decades the “science” of humanism has made tremendous inroads, many of which are helping current efforts to succeed where past ones have failed.