Sunday, January 13, 2008

Doctors Dealing with Death

I have been reading Final Exam by Pauline Chen. She is an eloquent surgeon who describes how medical training desensitizes a medical student (and later an intern/resident) to the pain of death, and how she recovered her touch with patients facing death by watching a few humane doctors work with their patients, and by feeling her way through some cases with dying patients. Both the barriers against feelings and the ways she has broken through those barriers resonated with me, as a double cancer survivor whose surgeons were very supportive.