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In Reply: These letters reflect a range of
concerns about the impact of the inner emotional lives of physicians on the
care of their patients. Dr Kennedy likens the sequelae of the trauma of medical
education to PTSD. Dr Auster argues that phenomena similar to those described
among physicians caring for persons with life-threatening illness also affect
physicians' care for patients with chronic degenerative disorders or disabilities.
Dr Schulman-Green believes that medical educational and community norms should
change to integrate the recognition of the role that unexamined feelings can
have on both physician and patient. Judging by these letters, our article
seems to have stimulated dialogue on the responsibility of the profession
to acknowledge that physicians are people too, with feelings that may affect
care of patients. If the self-evidence of this observation is accepted by
medical educators, some of the suggestions offered by these writers may find
their way into the curriculum both for physicians in training as well as those
already in practice.
Meier DE, Back AL, Morrison RS. Physicians' Feelings About Themselves and Their Patients—Reply. JAMA. 2002;287(9):1113–1114. doi:10.1001/jama.287.9.1109
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