Medical students and other health care students, join a revolution in loving!
Here is an invitation to medical students, nursing students, and all other health care students in the world to explore compassion (tender, loving, fun care) and its delivery from September, 2010 to September 2011. The plan is to gather data so that we can collectively then create an embedded course in all the years of medical school in order to graduate compassionate beloved physicians.
Can compassion (tender, loving, fun care) become a central interest and action in your life and at all times?
Read the three papers. In Patch’s paper is a list of questions, experiential exercises, explorations and suggestions for doctors, nurses, caregivers, care receivers, administrators and educators. Feel free to explore any of these. Come up with your own questions, exercises, explorations. Please email your ideas, experiences and designs for how this Curriculum could be structured.
This paper picks up the dialogue started by Paul Starr with The Social Transformation of American Medicine, in which he noted “The dream of reason did not take power into account.” With gratitude to Patch Adams MD, Gesundheit! Institute, for conversations on health care system design and political activism.
We see two positions that already exist in the dialogue around the crisis in the US healthcare delivery system.
This curriculum will teach students to be more than dispassionate clinical observers, and become totally involved in the healing process.
We all agree that our educational focus is how doctors must make more loving connections with patients; that touching the hearts of patients who place themselves in their hands is as important as studying the technology of medicine; that the current medical school teaching model attributes our successes to the genius of our science and instrumentation, but minimizes the importance of compassionate, loving connections that inspire the human spirit.
Love…I feel love…I love…….the word is so deeply woven into our cultural fabric, that it’s meaning obscured by overuse. To consider the education of physicians, nurses, therapists, psychologists, social workers and all care givers in the practice of loving, is to open a Pandora’s Box of challenges and difficulties. This paper attempts to express some ideas and concepts spilling out of this box, and to describe how such a curriculum might be constructed and for what purpose and for whom.
We see two directions that dominate the talk around health care systems: that of corporate care, and—challenging this—that of single payer. We reject the direction of corporate care; we value single-payer and its radical rearrangement of financial incentives that would give all people access to health care; AND we invite people to widen the scope of health care system change beyond the financial aspect.