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What Doctors Feel

How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine

Danielle Ofri

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

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.
 
With her renowned eye for dramatic detail, Dr. Ofri takes us into the swirling heart of patient care, telling stories of caregivers caught up and occasionally torn down by the whirlwind life of doctoring. She admits to the humiliation of an error that nearly killed one of her patients and her forever fear of making another. She mourns when a beloved patient is denied a heart transplant. She tells the riveting stories of an intern traumatized when she is forced to let a newborn die in her arms, and of a doctor whose daily glass of wine to handle the frustrations of the ER escalates into a destructive addiction. But doctors don’t only feel fear, grief, and frustration. Ofri also reveals that doctors tell bad jokes about “toxic sock syndrome,” cope through gallows humor, find hope in impossible situations, and surrender to ecstatic happiness when they triumph over illness.  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.
 
 
 

From the Hardcover edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

Apr 01, 2013 – Ofri (Medicine in Translation: Journeys with My Patients) offers an eloquent and honest take on the inner life of medical professionals, describing not only her own bumpy path from med student to M.D., but also the difficulty of maintaining empathy for patients over the years. “Emotional layers” in medicine are more subtle and pervasive than anyone wants to believe, and they often become the “dominant players in medical decision-making,” she argues. Ofri uses the story of illegal immigrant Julia and her battle with congestive heart failure as a jumping-off point for discussing how doctors handle emotionally complicated cases. From the reluctance of Julia’s medical team to deliver her “death sentence” to a happy conclusion following the persistence of her hospital team, Ofri celebrates the rare occasions “of joy in our profession” while investigating the “documented decline in empathy” shown to begin in med school. Not every doctor becomes hardened, though many lose their way (the author describes an ER doc who was canned for being drunk on the job). Ofri heaps praise on one M.D. who sagely advises that “it is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.” Ofri’s passionate examination of her own fears and doubts alongside broader concerns within the medical field should be eye-opening for the public—and required reading for medical students.
What Doctors Feel
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  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Medical
  • Published: Jun 04, 2013
  • Publisher: Beacon Press
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 232 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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