A look at the emotional side of medicine—the shame, fear, anger, anxiety, empathy, and even love that affect patient care.
Physicians are assumed to be objective, rational beings, easily able to detach as they guide patients and families through some of life's most challenging moments. But doctors' emotional responses to the life-and-death dramas of everyday practice have a profound impact on medical care. And while much has been written about the minds and methods of the medical professionals who save our lives, precious little has been said about their emotions.
In What Doctors Feel, Dr. Danielle Ofri has taken on the task of dissecting the hidden emotional responses of doctors, and how these directly influence patients. How do the stresses of medical life—from paperwork to grueling hours to lawsuits to facing death—affect the medical care that doctors can offer their patients? Digging deep into the lives of doctors, Ofri examines the daunting range of emotions—shame, anger, empathy, frustration, hope, pride, occasionally despair, and sometimes even love—that permeate the contemporary doctor-patient connection. Drawing on scientific studies, including some surprising research, Dr. Danielle Ofri offers up an unflinching look at the impact of emotions on health care.
The stories here reveal the undeniable truth that emotions have a distinct effect on how doctors care for their patients. For both clinicians and patients, understanding what doctors feel can make all the difference in giving and getting the best medical care.
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About the Author
Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD, is an associate professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine and has cared for patients at New York’s Bellevue Hospital for more than two decades. Ofri’s books and articles have become academic staples in medical schools, universities and residency programs. She is the editor in chief of the Bellevue Literary Review and writes regularly for the New York Times.
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Excerpted from "What Doctors Feel"
Copyright © 2014 Danielle Ofri.
Excerpted by permission of Beacon Press.
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Table of Contents
Intoduction: Why Doctors Act That Way
Chapter 1: The Doctor Can't See You Now
Julia, part one
Chapter 2: We Build a Better Doctor?
Julia, part two
Chapter 3: Scared Witless
Julia, part three
Chapter 4: A Daily Dose of Death
Julia, part four
Chapter 5: Burning with Shame
Julia, part five
Chapter 6: Drowning
Julia, part six
Chapter 7: Under the Microscope
Julia, part seven