Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Profession, Heal Thyself? (Guest Editorial)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Profession, Heal Thyself? (Guest Editorial)

Article excerpt

Increasingly, physicians are getting a disappointing response when they turn to society for help in healing their suffering profession.

I'd like to think that the solution is as easy as thinking positive thoughts and reconnecting with our core values, as Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen asserts ("The Struggle for Meaning," Guest Editorial, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY NEWS, Feb. 1, 2002, p. 19). Her suggestions enlightened me to another view of the professional crisis. But clearly, we need to look beyond our personal struggle to renew our commitment to service and our relationships with the patients we serve. Unfortunately; society as a whole is not providing a nurturing and healing environment.

Almost daily; the media remind us of our incompetence. They report on our errors unmercifully; often sensationalistically, even though the profession continually seeks to improve quality. Far less often do they herald our successs, which must be revolutionary to earn media attention.

Meanwhile, the entertainment industry overinflates public expectations by turning television doctors into gods capable of saving every life they touch. Even their misadventures never produce an uncorrectable error or injury.

The legal profession regularly informs us of our imperfections, extracting huge chunks of our self-worth. …

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