Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Caring Physicians around the World

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Caring Physicians around the World

Article excerpt

Yank Coble does big things as a leader in the medical community.

The Jacksonville endocrinologist has led the Duval Medical Society, the American Medical Association and the World Medical Association.

As head of the Center for Global Health and Medical Diplomacy at the University of North Florida, he organized a Caring Community Conference in 2007.

He also was an editor of a book titled "Caring: Physicians Around the World."

It's a book filled with pictures. The size is so big that it might be a coffee table book..

The book illustrates properly his passion for the medical principles of caring, ethics and science.

But it's the caring portion of this three-legged stool that is most easily missed by doctors and patients alike.

As Coble writes in the introduction to his book, "It is now well accepted that those who have hope and trust find more comfort, heal faster and need less pain medication."

So it is part of the physician's role to inspire hope and trust in a patient. In his book, Coble has selected physicians who often go outside the examination room, dealing with government of social influences in health care.

Here are a few snippets from the 65 physicians in 58 countries profiled in the book. Readers will recognize that many of the issues involving health care are worldwide.


Refaat Kamel, a professor of surgery, says a professor offered him two key bits of advice about research. When it comes to research, don't follow the crowd.

"One should never convert the practice of medicine to a business," he said. "Practice should always be quality health care to the best of our abilities."


Sister Lucia Yu was raised in a Buddhist family in Korea, traveled to Milwaukee to do her medical residency and converted here from atheism to Catholicism.

She became a Maryknoll nun, worked in Kenya and China and now in her late years works with the homeless, alcoholics and victims of domestic violence in Seoul.

"If fame, money, reputation, scholarship or personal comfort take precedence over caring, we cannot call ourselves genuine doctors," she said.


Leena Pasanen has been a missionary doctor and pediatrician at a Lutheran Hospital in Tanzania for 25 years.

"Every human being, rich and poor, has a unique value and he or she needs to be met with respect, compassion, love and joy," she said. "In the mission hospital where I work I meet many poor people who need not only medical but also physical, mental and spiritual help."

Professor Risto Pelkonen is a writer, lecturer and retired endocrinologist.

"There is no cure without care. Every patient cannot be cured but good care can always be given. Good care starts from listening to the patient with empathy. …

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