Friday, December 30, 2011

The Price Tag on Teaching Compassion = $42 Million

Based on a horrible experience Carolyn Bucksbaum had many years ago when her doctor dismissed her intuition about her medical condition, and a second and ongoing experience over the next many years when she worked with Dr. Mark Siegler at the University of Chicago Medical Center, Mrs. Bucksbaum decided to do something to be sure other patients, in the future, would not have to put up with any more arrogance from medical providers.

And to those points, I say "Hooray! Thank you!", and, "I hope the lessons you impart can spread to every other medical student and doctor who can possibly benefit from what you will teach them!"  Further, I hope those lessons will be taught (and perhaps pounded into) those doctors practicing today who have already gone off the arrogance charts - those who are, unfortunately, teaching today's medical students how to behave tomorrow.

But yes, there is a downside, and that is, that such a topic needs an expensive, $42 million institute at all.  If doctors would simply approach their work using a combination of the Golden Rule, and the manners their mothers taught them, and regard their patients with the dignity and respect their patients deserve, then those $42 million could be put to a much loftier use - toward finding a cure toward a debilitating disease, or improving infant mortality, or helping indigent patients get some of the care they need.

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