Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rating Pain (1-10)

Pondering excessively on the suffering of others seems to cloud my perspective...

In the medical setting, it behooves one to reflect on the existence of pain/suffering because it helps one empathize with patients, presumably enhancing the doctor-patient relationship. Looking at someone in the eyes with intent and expressing sympathy can open a channel of understanding and rapport. Still, no degree of empathy can amend the harsh reality: sick people suffer. As any good Samaritan, you strive to alleviate the experience of suffering-- sometimes to no avail, like standing idle before a burning at the stake.

So as [any] coward, I avoid thinking about its metaphysical origin-- I still cannot find a good reason for its existence. Considering all the meaningless reasons for the suffering of people, why should one bother to rationalize or make sense of them?

There is a box inside of me where at the end of the day, I place all these moments. I make an effort each day to close the box before returning home. As usual, the very next day this sealed box cracks open. If fortune smiles, each will say "...0/10 today.”


Jack said...

Don't you have to distance yourself from the patients to get by with all the suffering around you?

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Chakurino said...

Hey Jack,

It is true, one should distance oneself in this setting not only to maintain objectivity but also to avoid feeling inadequate.

I think this is a process that takes time... Finding the proper balance of compassion and objectivity is my dilemma, I guess.

Leonardo Bartowski said...

This is a very hard situation to be in. You must be very courageous to go through this everyday. I think it may be normal for a good doctor to feel this way. You must maintain objectivity but you feel compassion for your patients which drives you to do what you do.

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