Tag Archives: compassion

Compassion and the art of medicine

Michael Vassallo Bournemouth, United Kingdom   Is medicine an art or a science? As a medical student embarking on a journey, the answer seemed obvious. I was one of a unanimous chorus of students confidently claiming science as the answer to this trick question. My mum, however, told me “to be kind and smile, appearing […]

Humanism in medicine

Annie Yeh Louisiana, New Orleans, USA   As medical students, we are taught the “art of medicine” and the importance of gathering a thorough patient history. “Ninety percent of your diagnosis comes from the history,” we are told. And to do so, we must establish a rapport with our patients. We enter the lives of […]

Suffering and empathy in the stories of Anton Chekhov and their relevance to healthcare today

Peter McCann London Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) Throughout his life, Anton Chekhov was often faced with the reality of suffering in human existence. His family’s bankruptcy and life of poverty in Moscow influenced young Anton’s thoughts about suffering and degradation in society, and his brief period of medical practice in Moscow provided him with enough experience […]

Two Scottish tales of medical compassion

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Dr. John Raffensberger has served both a literary and humanistic cause by placing in our hands two stories that highlight the most admired traits in a physician, the traits of empathy and understanding that patients and their families require. This slim but handsome volume brings together two […]