wounded healer

… this awareness leads to an otherwise impossible capacity for relationship … with our patients. “Piccinini explained in these words how involvement with his patients had come in ‘with a crash’ from the recognition of a common need and a shared question:’Sickness, suffering, pain, and death are the normal but sharpest expressions of human limitation, […]

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… or love from suffering … because love is the self surrender of someone to another and this self surrender requires that we really die to ourselves in order to live in and through the other. The mystery of iniquity is the resistance to this. There is something in us that knows that that is […]

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“The ability to interact effectively with  angry  patients is a  skill  that is often  learned with  experience and  is extremely useful in both transforming the patients’ reaction into a more creative emotion and  in developing a therapeutic relationship … Almost always, anger will resolve if the patient is given time, respect, clear information and consistency […]

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… “Serving is different from helping. Helping is based on inequality; it is not a relationship between equals. When you help you use your own strength to help those of lesser strength. If I’m attentive to what’s going on inside of me when I’m helping, I find that I’m always helping someone who’s not as […]

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… who decide when Christ is here or not … DISCOVERING THE FAMILIARITY OF A PRESENCE I would like to tell you about something that happened to me that opened up my heart. A few months ago, my husband Andrea brought one of his patients who had cancer into our home. She had been operated […]

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“Not every patient can be saved, but his illness may be eased by the way the doctor responds to him – and in responding to him, the doctor may save himself. But first he must become a student again; he has to dissect the cadaver of his professional persona; he must see that his silence […]

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… Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Red Beard’ is the story of a recent medical graduate assigned to a rural clinic for his post-graduate training. In his arrogance, he is livid that he should have to train in a poor clinic – aspiring instead to ascend the ranks of caring for the rich and powerful Shoguns. Through a […]

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Imperative 1 To serve selflessly our dying brothers and sisters who come into our care. Whatever material success we doctors have achieved is not of our own design. Society has valued our services and agreed to compensate us well for our efforts on its behalf. Have we lived up to our end of the bargain? […]

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Imperative 2 To meet the real needs of the dying. What dying patients need first and foremost is a safe environment. They need to know that our care for them is not contingent upon something they do or do not do. They need to know that we care about them as persons worthy of dignity […]

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Imperative 3 To guide but never lead. We have great knowledge and must use it wisely. We are called by the dying to be their guides through this final passage. It is the height of arrogance to believe we can somehow lead them through the end of life, step-by-step. We are simply to be guides […]

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