Remembering There’s a Story in Every Face

Resident physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital and contributor at The New York Times, Dr. Dhruv Khullar, is quick to admit that while he’s a successful clinician, he was not always great at seeing patients as people and listening fully to their stories…and he sees that as an enormous problem. It took an eye-opening Experience with a dying patient to remind him that it was the patient’s story that mattered—not the last time he’d had a bowel movement. As treatments and technology continually improve, we are slowly losing sight of the empathy, understanding, and ability to see patients as people.

For Dr. Khullar, one can only get better at practicing medicinediagnosing and treating the ill and helping the well thriveby understanding that the way to best serve patients is to “see not only who they are, but also who they were, and, ultimately, who they hope to become even at the end of life.”

Invite team members to learn the story of someone they interact with in a clinical, administrative, or support position. Have team members share the stories that remind us of why we are grateful to do the work that we do.

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