Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The ONE Instrument Every Psychiatrist & Counsellor Must Have

While I was doing my post graduation; I was told to look into my patient’s eyes and understand his mental state. I soon realised that I need to look into one more set of eyes; that is the eyes of the patient’s father/mother/spouse/ sibling or child. They, as the primary caretakers, go through a lot too. Sometimes the stress of caring for their loved one makes them clinically depressed.

To be able to feel the pain of the man sitting across our consultation room must stir us up. To feel his handicap and discomfort must put fire in our bones. To know that your patient has not done anything to deserve what he is going through keeps you from passing judgements on him. To know that you could have been in his shoes keeps you humble.

A Cardiologist will be known by his expensive stethoscope, a Surgeon by his sharp scalpel but a Psychiatrist will have to be known by his genuine empathy. That is one instrument which he can’t afford to not have when he gets in to his consultations.

The imperfection of Psychiatric medication can only be mitigated by grace in our attitude as doctors.

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