Tag Archives: Empathy

Not just for the sake of ourselves

Florence Gelo Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   The Fatal Wounding of Sir Philip Sidney, 1806, Benjamin West, Woodmere Art Museum, Bequest of Charles Knox Smith The Fatal Wounding of Sir Philip Sidney is a painting that I have used often to teach close looking to medical and theological students. The painting is full of details: […]

Compassion in the emergency room

Raymond Bellis Stony Brook, New York, United States     Photo by JacksonDavid on Pixabay. Yet another shift in the Emergency Department—between the frenzied rush of staff, the constant pinging of monitors, and the chaotic overhead announcements, I didn’t find the environment particularly conducive to healing. But as a dedicated student in my third year […]

Gently, Doctor, tell me what you see

Florence Gelo Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Girl with a Hand Mirror. William McGregor Paxton, 1915. Courtesy of the Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania. In order to emphasize the role of the arts when teaching the humanities in medicine, I have often taken medical students, residents, and doctors to art museums to develop the art […]

De Profundis: Oscar Wilde’s narrative of mental anguish

Anthony G. Chesebro Stony Brook, New York, United States Oscar Wilde. Photo by Napoleon Sarony, 1882. Via Wikimedia. Public domain.   “There is only one season, the season of sorrow.”1  Imprisoned for a relationship that was criminalized by the government of his time, in 1897 Oscar Wilde had spent two years in jail. Finally granted […]

Eye contact: a gateway to empathy

David Jeffrey Edinburgh, United Kingdom   Bradley by David Jeffrey “Do you think I needed anticoagulants for my atrial fibrillation?” I asked the general practitioner. He stared at his computer screen, and answered without looking at me. “No-one knows for sure. I will print out a recent article which you can read at home and then […]

The use of language in health and illness narratives

Mariella Scerri Victor Grech  Malta   Portrait of Virginia Woolf in 1902. By George Charles Beresford. Public Domain. Via Wikimedia. “While I was as busy as anyone on the sunny plain of life, I heard of you laid aside in the shadowy recess where our sunshine of hope and joy could never penetrate to you.” […]

Radiology and visual arts interpretation

Kristin Krumenacker Huntington, New York, United States   The Doctor, 1891, Sir Luke Fildes.© The Tate Britain. CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported). Source Medical schools have increasingly included the humanities in their curricula, hoping to encourage empathy and compassion in their students. The effects of teaching the humanities is not limited to the student but can benefit […]

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 […]