Compassionate Care: How a Young Doctor Is Facing the Reality of Modern Medicine

Earlier this month, I walked across the stage at the Meyerson Symphony Center and officially became a doctor.At the conclusion of commencement, my classmates and I recited The Physician’s Oath, promising “to approach all my patients with integrity, candor, empathy and respect.”Coming into medical school, I thought I knew what compassionate care looked like, as both a patient and a caregiver for my mom after she was diagnosed with cancer.I intended to listen to my patients, to get to know them beyond their medical conditions, and to provide them the best possible care. But as I started my clinical rotations, I quickly realized that becoming the compassionate physician I aspired to be would be influenced by complexities beyond day-to-day life in the hospital and clinic.The reality of practicing medicine is that many patients are not able to obtain coverage for the care they need, and a short hospitalization or clinic visit does not provide the time to spend to understand each patient as deeply as we would like.  Continue reading...

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