Tag Archives: Empathy

The Yellow Wallpaper: the flawed prescription

Mahek Khwaja  Karachi, Pakistan   Yellow Wallpaper Art: A Bowl with “The House”~ Tower, the Yellow Room. By Julie Jordan Scott on Flickr. CC BY 2.0.  Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote her short story The Yellow Wallpaper in nineteenth-century America when gendered norms prevailed in society at large and notably in medicine. In a previous article, “Charlotte Perkins […]

The art of nursing

Isabelle J. St. John Milwaukee, WI   Cornelia Parker’s art piece appears as an explosion suspended in time, which effectively conveys how a nurse operates as an artist of care; nurses enter their patients’ lives at the moment of explosion, and they have the ability to suspend that explosion for a moment in time and […]

Cancer warrior

Thanuja Subramaniam Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   Photo by cottonbro from Pexels  Eight months ago, my brother was diagnosed with stage 2 urothelial carcinoma. For months he had been telling me that his urine had “a tinge of red” to it. I dismissed it as dehydration, since he was young but did not take good care of himself. Some […]

Dr. Peabody, the ideal medical practitioner

Rachel Bright Kevin Qosja Liam Butchart Stony Brook, New York, United States   Embankment by Rachel Whiteread. Turbine Hall, The Tate Modern, Bankside, London. 12 November 2005. Photo by Fin Fahey. In part inspired by the aftermath of her mother’s death, the white boxes are reminiscent of the many boxes the artist had to pack […]

Engage the emotions

Florence Gelo Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610). The Taking of Christ, 1602 Oil on canvas. 135.5 x 169.5 cm L.14702. On indefinite loan to the National Gallery of Ireland from the Jesuit Community, Leeson St., Dublin, who acknowledge the kind generosity of the late Dr Marie Lea-Wilson, 1992 Photo © […]

Bloody segregation: the story of how Charles Richard Drew found life abundantly

Amy DeMatt Greensburg, Pennsylvania, United States   Charles R. Drew, “Father of the Blood Bank,” as depicted by Betsy Graves Reyneau.  The portrait hangs at the National Portrait Gallery, and, as described by the Gallery, serves as a “visual rebuttal to racism.” Source:  Wikimedia Commons. Portrait of Charles R. Drew, painted by Betsy Graves Reyneau, […]

Painting an honest image

Rachel Fleishman Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Sleepy Baby, 1910, Mary Cassatt, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX, USA I send my colleague home to kiss her children, then go to the nursery to meet my patient. The obstetrician shows me the newborn’s penis; it will not stop bleeding. Together, we wrap it with a […]

Burnout: Are we looking at it through the wrong lens?

Elizabeth Cerceo Camden, New Jersey, USA   The Exhausted Ragpicker. Jean François Raffaëlli. 1880. The Art Institute of Chicago. The epidemic of burnout seems to afflict ever more populations as it insidiously creeps into the workplace of everyone from nurses to teachers, from medical students to seasoned clinicians, from Amazon to Apple. As physicians, we […]

Balancing empathy

Nora Salisbury Vancouver, BC, Canada   Street art in Vancouver’s downtown eastside. Photo by Lee Gangbar. I almost fainted on my first clinical day in nursing school. I was invited to watch a catheter insertion. While my gut reaction was to completely avoid it, I knew that as a new student nurse I was supposed […]

Montaigne’s essays: emotions and empathy

David Jeffrey Edinburgh, Scotland   Michel de Montaigne. François Seraphin Delpech. 19th century. Bibliothèque de Bordeaux. The term empathy was coined a little over a hundred years ago and since then its definition has evolved. At first empathy was regarded as a sharing of emotions, but modern medicine emphasizes cognitive aspects of the concept.1 Regarding […]