Compassion will Heal the Healers

This morning while walking down the Hudson River, I went to my go-to podcasts (NYT – The Daily and NPR – Up First ) but decided for unimportant reasons to pivot to something else. The randomized order of podcast play on my phone resulted in listening to the Freakonomics Radio podcast from last week titled, How Do You Cure a Compassion Crisis? “Patients in the U.S. healthcare system often feel they’re treated with a lack of empathy. Doctors and nurses have tragically high levels of burnout. Could fixing the first problem solve the second? And does the rest of society need more compassion too?”

Within veterinary medicine, do this sound familiar ? At the very least, it resonates.

It’s worth the 48 minutes to listen to this episode of Freakonomics and get the insight and resources you might find useful in your pursuit of being a better clinician and maybe putting you on the path to restore the passion you once had for clinical practice. At the very least you’ll learn about a book titled “Compassionomics (The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence that Caring Makes a Difference) by Dr Stephen Trzeciak and Dr Anthony Mazzarelli that explores the science that provides evidence that compassion and empathy contributes to better outcomes for patients, families and health care workers.

It’s impossible for me to fully appreciate the range of emotions health care workers experience and the impact this has on their professional and personal lives. We’re certainly in a crisis and it’s unlikely we can change the tragic outcomes of the next 60 days. However, we can begin to seek ways to improve ourselves and help others navigate this troublesome time.

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