Sunday, October 16, 2011

a doctor's touch

In my last post I said that I would post a few questions worthy of contemplation this week.

What I had in mind were a few prods for creative souls who are blocked for whatever reason from pursuing their art, perhaps because of constraints on time and energy, financial concerns, or lack of encouragement and support. I had planned to refer to works by Juia Cameron ( and by Kripalu Center meditation leader Jonathan Foust (

Then my friend (she knows me too well!) sent me a link to a YouTube video by my hero, Abraham Verghese: "A Doctor's Touch":

Suddenly a whole new set of questions arose. This video is about the therapeutic effect of the laying on of hands by the physician...of ritual and expectation...of time spent with patients. It undermines the glorification of the 10 minute office visit, the game of "Beat the Clock" that doctors play inorder to meet productivity quotients.

Don't get me started...

These trends in the practice of "modern" medicine, among others, are what led me to bow out in fear of the inevitable: that someday I would miss something important because there simply wasn't time to do the job well.

So these are the questions that came to me just this morning:
     --Should I have taken a stand against what I perceived to be the erosion of my autonomy and authority as a physician in the care of my patients?
     --How could I have done it...without being fired??
     --Would it have made any difference?
     --Is it too late now?

Thankfully, there are physicians like Abraham Vorghese who speak up eloquently on our behalf while the rest of us scramble to collect our thoughts and yet fail to act on what we know to be true.

Is there an issue that you neeed to confront? What is holding you back? What kind of a difference can you make? When will you begin?
"What moves men of genius,
or rather what inspires their work,
is not new ideas,
but their obsession with the idea
that what has already been said is still not enough."
--Eugene Delacroix--
I'm going to work hard to move ahead with my WIP this week. I'll let you know how it goes.

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