Dale has a conversation with Dr. Jim Smith about his battle with cancer, how it changed his perspective as a physician, and cultivating compassion.
Dr. Jim Smith is a surgeon whose personal journey and practice has changed the way he has come to practice. Dale and Jim discuss the role of compassion and the need for doctors to cultivate as much compassion for themselves as they do their patients.
The C Word (Opening) – Jim Smith has recently been embroiled in a battled with prostate cancer. He describes his experience and how, as a surgeon, it has changed his relationship with patients.
“The other thing that I realized was, on the patient side, how much we grab onto every bit of hope that the treating physician is giving us. As a physician, being on the other side, I didn’t realize how much patients might be hanging on to my words.”
Finding Balance (9:00) – Dale and Jim discuss the importance of not forgetting the humanity in the doctor’s office; humanity for the patient and the physician. They talk about the need for physicians to practice care and compassion for themselves, so that they may, in turn, give themselves fully to their patients. Jim recalls specific instances in which the work he has done on himself has helped get through the hardest of situations.
Fear and Death (18:00) – The two share their thoughts about the role of fear in the dying process. Fear manifests in a myriad of unique forms, Jim talks about the necessity of responding to his patients just as uniquely.
Compassion With Someone (29:30) Dale addresses the notion that we don’t have compassion FOR someone, we have compassion WITH someone. Jim and Dale talk about the role of compassion in the medical field. Despite its integral role, the cultivation of compassion is something that is critically missing in all of the training a physician must undergo.
“We don’t have compassion FOR someone, we have compassion WITH someone.”
Photo via Very Well