Why Kindness Heals – By James R. Doty, M.D.

I have had really great doctors, and I have had really terrible doctors. One doctor that I knew was great and was adored by all the staff and patients took his frustration out on me one night after surgery, and I was devastated because he was delivering bad news on top of it. I didn’t “fire” him because he was the only one doing my surgeries, but it changed our interactions.

Doctors, may the force be with you. It’s not an easy path, and there will be stumbles, but I hope that you have rewarding interactions with your patients.

Kindness Blog

As a physician specializing in neurosurgery at an academic medical center, I appreciate the unhappiness many patients have with the present healthcare delivery system that is rushed, bureaucratic, non-caring and technology-focused.

In the U.S. we spend more per capita than any other industrialized country, yet the outcomes are some of the worst in the world, with the highest levels of patient dissatisfaction.

What is the solution? Francis W. Peabody, M.D. said in 1925 that,

the secret of the care of the patient is caring for the patient.”

These words are even more true today and are now backed by an ever enlarging body of science that demonstrates that kindness, compassion and empathy have a profound effect on healing. This new body of evidence spanning psychology, neuroscience, and even economics reveals that as a species our default mode is not one of self-centeredness but that we are wired…

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