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March 6, 2002

Physicians' Feelings About Themselves and Their Patients

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2002;287(9):1113-1114. doi:10.1001/jama.287.9.1109

To the Editor: In emphasizing physicians' reactions to the care of seriously ill patients, Dr Meier and colleagues1 may have overlooked their reactions to conditions that may not be life-threatening but nonetheless significantly affect the quality of those patients' lives. Spinal cord injuries are perhaps the most obvious of these conditions. It is important for physicians to recognize that caring for patients with any condition with the potential for even partially limiting activities important to the individual may provide reminders of the physician's own vulnerability. This can put the physician at risk for feelings that, unless recognized, could impair patient care.

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