Greetings to many PRIME friends and colleagues in many countries and continents!
We share these monthly email messages because we all believe deep down that it is so important in our work to appreciate the individual humanity and personality of the people who come to see us for our help, and for whom we care. We have shared many times about the studies and stories of the huge value of the doctor-patient relationship. The result of such care is often reflected not only in the measurable improvement in physical health but also in the sense of security, hope and contentment in the heart and mind of the one who is suffering.
However, we sometimes find ourselves hesitating when we realise that the fruit of such relationships can only be as rich as the quality of character of both participants. We ourselves contribute, and are responsible for 50% of the calibre of that interaction.
Logic then tells us, therefore, that the outcome of every consultation depends partly on the health of our own personality. That can be quite a startling realisation! We realise we have a professional responsibility to nurture our own psychological and spiritual health.
We must reserve times for rest and oasis, friendships, exercise, laughter, hobbies, creativity – there are many activities that may nurture us.
Stress and depression may hover around us – we must admit our need for help very early, even though our pride puts up such barriers.
We may also realise that we need a touch of humility for some ingrained hard attitude: we would be rewarded by new glimpses of insight and self awareness, fresh wisdom and insight. A few ‘home truths’ from the heart of a compassionate friend can be remarkably healing: his forgiveness and love
can melt many a defensive barrier.
It is then that we discover that our freshly renewed clean spirit leads to much richer and rewarding interactions with our patients, for it is well known that these patients of ours read and discern the spirit of their doctor just as fast as we assess them.
So may this unique time, with the message of Christmas, and the opening of a fresh New Year, be full of new joy, new vistas of hope and potential for you, both in your inner journey through this life, and in your outer professional work on behalf of those individual people who come to you as an ally to help them through their suffering. May you find rich new rewards as you respond to this calling on your life to be a caring professional.
Dr John Caroe