How do you know which doctors are the ones who can appropriately comfort patients during times of suffering?
Anesthesiologist Dr. T talks about how medical schools don’t really screen which prospective physicians are “cavalry-ready,” or not.
“People are either ready, willing, and able to be close to human suffering – to look at a weeping man, woman, or child in the eye, talk to people in distress, touch their wounds, embrace broken bodies and wounded souls, without recoiling – or they’re not,” she writes, “and they have to build up layers of arrogance, insensitivity, and cynicism in order to function. You’re either afraid of it or willing to confront it face-to-face. There’s no check-box for that on medical school applications.”
Although more medical schools are adding curriculum to “train” doctors’ bedside manner, physicians either have empathy or they don’t. It’s not something that can be learned well.