Allison Greene and Christopher Bailey
After reading “Out of Camelot, Knights in White Coats Lose Way” we compared Dr. Jauhar’s report to our own perspectives on medicine. As medical research assistants and future medical students, we aspire to conduct our careers with the type of unwavering enthusiasm for medicine that we recognize in the physicians with whom we work on a daily basis. Our motivations for pursuing careers in medicine are driven by our observations of these physicians who are clearly passionate about medicine. It was therefore surprising and disheartening for us to read that overall physician morale is on the decline.
For aspiring doctors like us, medical professors are our mentors and our role models. In academic medicine, we rarely encounter the types of jaded and discontented doctors that Dr. Jauhar discusses in his article. Perhaps there is a synergistic relationship between our mentors and us, their students, which preserves each other’s continuous fascination with medicine. Might our unfettered ambition inspire our mentors as much as their success inspires us? If disenchanted doctors have truly “lost their way” maybe they can turn to their pupils and protégés to reinvigorate their passion for medicine.
While passion for the science of medicine is essential to the field’s progress, it is also important to connect with patients because their stories empower it. Patients should remind us that the breadth of medicine depends upon the depth of the individual. It is essential for us to create bonds with our patients in order to instill a sense of trust and disprove their beliefs that doctors are indifferent towards their needs. It is also important to connect with our patients in order to learn from them. As students of medicine, we are constantly expanding our medical knowledge through our experiences whether we are in the classroom or the operating room. We are fortunate to be in a profession that never stops growing, and that idea alone is inspirational.
- Jauhar S. Out of camelot, knights in white coats lose way. The New York Times. January 31, 2011
This is a commentary on the article, “The social status of physicians and the quality of health care” by Leo Sher, M.D. published on our website, www.internetandpsychiatry.com