Love heals: Four posts to inspire your practice this Valentine’s day.

In celebration of Valentine’s Day this week, it seemed fitting to put together a post on the concept of love in medicine. Only…there’s not many of us out there writing on the topic. After a google search of “love in medicine” and “love and doctoring”, I found the following three posts, and have included one of my own at the end. I included an excerpt from each piece, but encourage you to link back to each original piece and read it in its entirety. I hope they will inspire you to celebrate, and re-discover, the importance of love in medicine.

by Dr. Eunice J. Minford

The time is long overdue to restore love to the heart and foundation of medicine and medical education, so that the doctors of tomorrow know who they are, that they too are worth caring for first and foremost by themselves and that their worth is not dependent upon a medical degree. By loving and caring for ourselves in the way we live, nourishing our bodies, getting sufficient rest and sleep, being tender and gentle with ourselves, culturing our own inner lover rather than listening to the inner critic we know so well, we then have an opportunity to inspire patients to do likewise and to take more care of themselves.

by Dr. Anne Malatt

…Your loveliness with my patients, and your humble gratitude for allowing you to be part of their consultation reminds me to bring the same humility and grace to my every interaction with them.

Your tenderness, your fragility, your delicate young natures inspire me to go ever deeper into the tenderness and care I can bring to you and to all my patients.

You are the life-blood of our profession. Without you, we would all die off within a generation or two…

by Jordan Grumet, MD

As I have said before, when done correctly, doctoring is an act of love.

It is founded on the most basic of human interactions, intimacy. Patients open their doors and closets revealing a treasure trove of brutal humanity. Physicians dedicate themselves to healing, to upholding a sacred covenant born of tears and blood

by Jennifer Lycette, MD

The day after I told Nell she had seven metastases to her brain, she sent me flowers….Of all the things I thought she might say, she caught me off guard by expressing that she was sorry I was in the position to have to tell her the bad news…The next day the flowers arrived. I was at once awed and humbled by this gesture of grace…When I went to see her in the hospital, she was curled in the fetal position. I crouched down so I could be on eye level with her, and she grasped my hands. She smiled at me and told me she loved me. Once again, she caught me off my guard. I could not speak…

In summary, four posts, on four different aspects of love in medicine. Love as the healing foundation of our profession, love for medical students who inspire us to be our best selves, the love at the heart of doctoring, and the grace of love.

How does love influence your practice of medicine? Do you know of another post that belongs on this list? Let me know!

Originally published at The Hopeful Cancer Doc.

Physician/writer. Essayist, published in NEJM, JAMA, JAMA Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and The ASCO Post. Doximity Op-Med Fellow.

Physician/writer. Essayist, published in NEJM, JAMA, JAMA Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and The ASCO Post. Doximity Op-Med Fellow.