A question I’ve been asked more than once by fellow doctors is: “How do you handle being so close to your patients?”
Being close to my patients is part of my practice because I believe all the healing work we do begins with connection.
Sure, it takes tremendous skill and knowledge to do brain surgery or to mend an ailing heart, but in addition to those skills most patients expect their doctors to be human. They need their doctor to talk to them, to listen to them and to open up and be real.
When you work as a physician or any kind of therapist, you are taught early on that you should keep patients at bay. But why?
When I began my medical practice, I noticed that when I really talked to my patients and shared bits and pieces of my story and my life, they inevitably were more willing to share their stories. That’s how relationships work; they are a give-and-take dance. That’s when it feels almost magical.
When a doctor and patient come out of a session after sharing and connecting, they both feel more energized.
If I don’t foster a close connection with my patients and clients, I cannot expect them to walk the path I encourage them to take.
To do the work I ask them to do, they have to be brave; they must be willing feel the pain and keep on going. I’ve been there myself and I know how the journey can hurt; I also know the rewards waiting at the end of the path.
In the end, connection is more about being authentic and true to yourself as a physician and a human being — no fake persona, no I-know-it-all arrogance, and no I-don’t make-mistakes attitude.
I believe healing begins with real connection — a real, bare bones bonding of souls.
What do you look for in a doctor besides skills? Do authenticity and connection matter to you?
Please share in the comment section. I’m curious.