Kitchen Table Wisdom

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 9.42.33 PMPhysicians learning to be human

I’ve just finished a book of stories I learned so much from. Particularly how medical training wipes the humanity out of our health care providers. You may not be surprised, except for how strategic and intentional it is.


Kitchen Table Wisdom by Rachel Naomi Remen is full of small stories that include her own experiences as a physician for more than 30 years and observations of fellow physicians, and, as a patient suffering with Crohn’s disease since her teenage years. 


Her stories illustrate how most medical training depletes physicians of their humanity by actually outlawing any show of emotion or authentic aspect of themselves. Physicians are judged weak to by these standards and strong if they share nothing but their medical expertise; no heart, no humanity. Her stories also reflect the courage and grace as patients find their courage to live, and often die, with illness. 


You cannot come away from these stories without having a new understanding of our medical system. And the healing power of being with patients in a sacred space that does not judge, but allows frailties to just be. You will better understand why most doctors treat us like interchangeable parts and how far we have to go till this changes. Especially treating chronic illness.


Today, though, maybe there is a movement afoot. I just read Amy’s post over on DiabetesMine about a new ideal for treating the whole patient with a dedicated team. Perhaps it is happening, somewhere. Perhaps it will happen, someday.


In the meantime, pick up a copy of Kitchen Table Wisdom. Your soul will thank you.

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