Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Art of Medicine

In our training to become doctors, we are taught not just to look, but to see; not just to hear, but to listen; not just to touch, but to feel. As these senses develop, we learn to process the information we garner from seeing, listening, and feeling, and translate it into impressions, or, in medical terms, diagnoses.

In this sense, I don’t think we are that much different from artists. We use our eyes, ears, hands & sometimes even noses to perceive, in our case, patients; while artists use their eyes, ears, hands & noses to perceive the environment around them, and translate these perceptions into works of art.

This is where I think Medicine is an Art form; the part where we connect with our patients, where we use our God-given senses to learn & to know from seeing, listening, feeling.

I know that the advance of technology & the development of new lab tests & investigations will help us to more easily diagnose diseases. However, I hope that we will not eventually lose this, the Art of Medicine. If we do, I think that we also lose that little extra bit of humanity that goes with being a doctor.

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