“creative writing increases physician observation skills and connection to patients”
this is the heading of a study at the yale school of medicine, which showed that creative writing had a positive impact on how doctors saw themselves, their patients and their peers. resident physicians often deal with quite a bit of negativity, which can ultimately lead to a lack of interest in their patients.
engaging in creative writing helped doctors get in touch with their experience, their emotions, increase curiosity about their patients, and ultimately look at what gives meaning to their lives and their work.
just a two-day workshop made such a difference to these young doctors. just taking out two days from the normal routine, and engaging in a little creative self-reflection.
often it is simply routine that kills our joy in life. day in, day out, always the same. this creates a kind of mental fog which, in my opinion, is not dissimilar to the fog that is experienced in addictive substance abuse (similar to the many altered states of mind that milton erickson talks about). many routines are literally a habit in the sense that addictions are a habit.
on the other side of these often zombie-like routines lies the state of being awake. being awake to our own experience, to people, events, plants, animals, the whole world around us.
i’m happy to hear that these young doctors had a chance to wake up. happy for them and for their patients. and maybe happy for their families, too, who are probably already quite strained by the crazy hours worked by their partners or parents who had elected to become doctors.
the motto of my practice is “making lives better, making better lives”.
making lives better: waking up to our own experience.
making better lives: carrying this awakening into the rest of the world.
just like these doctors, whose self-reflection resulted in more interest in their patients.
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