In our training, we are taught that medicine is about facts. It is about figures. It is about classifying and diagnosing diseases. It is knowing the right treatment. It is about knowing the side effects.
But Medicine is all of those things, but that is not the heart of medicine. Over and above all medicine is about people, which means it is about relationships.
Sound strange to consider?
People come and see us, and we see people in the hospitals and the health care industry. We don’t see ‘illnesses and diseases’, as much as we learn to see people as those particular categories. We don’t see machines who automatically follow instructions – people come with their different understandings and approaches to health care. There are many facets to the people that we are seeing, and if we are not connecting with them and building relationships, we are not going to be able to communicate with them, and they are not going to be able to freely communicate with us.
How we relate to people is at the heart of how well we are able to practice medicine. The thing that hurts us most in life is how poor our relationships are or when there are relationship breakdowns. Medicine is no different and people are no different when they are seeking health care.