“What on earth has happened to the word ‘issues,’ that lowly, dutiful, and colorless bureaucrat of a noun? How did such a businesslike and antiseptically neutral word, the semantic equivalent of the man in the grey flannel suit, become transformed into one of our era’s most favored and most versatile euphemisms—a politely opaque nugget of soothing and pseudo-insightful psychobabble, liberally used by talk-show hosts and social-services types, a word whose reticent and clinically rational demeanor artfully conceals the ungenerous and often highly judgmental spirit in which it is so often offered? Continue reading →
“The medical profession—beset by too many technocratic physicians steeped in dazzling science—has been scrambling lately to restore its compassion, its capacity to cope with patient anguish. Medicine wrestles to comfort those in pain and devises intricate strategies to strike sacred connections with human beings who are ill. There is no room for callousness in the business of healing….
“Inserting compassion into the patient-doctor relationship is not just a nice touch or a polite gesture. Sound data demonstrate that a warm, empathetic approach improves clinical outcomes, bolsters immune systems, increases patient satisfaction, and even augments professional gratification among physicians…”
– Dr. Benjamin Corn, professor and chairman of the Institute of Radiotherapy at Tel Aviv Medical Center and a co-founder of the NGO Life’s Door – “On Shavuot, the Book of Ruth Offers Doctors a Prescription for Compassion,” Tablet magazine, 3 June 2014
“Memory is not about the past – it’s about the future and the ability to predict. Rarely is a precise, exact memory of what happened in the past of particular use if you can’t generalize from it.”
– Dr. Robert Stickgold (PhD), associate professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, speaking at the 24th Annual Rotman Research Institute Conference, Toronto, March 2014