Too often in the field of medicine, the psychosocial component of the patient/physician relationship doesn’t receive the attention it deserves.
Clinicians have some difficulty, not only in connecting with the feelings of their patients, but in processing the feelings that these encounters may provoke in them.
We are trained to analyze data and make decisions. Emotions are to be left at home.
”Schwartz Rounds” is a national effort being adopted by SNMH to assist clinicians in caring for the whole patient, and themselves.
Their website is worth visiting and describes these rounds as “a multidisciplinary forum where clinical caregivers discuss social and emotional issues that arise in caring for patients. These discussions strengthen the patient-caregiver relationship, improve teamwork, and decrease feelings of stress and isolation.” (See theschwartzcenter.org)
The vision for this program started in 1995 when a Boston attorney Ken Schwartz realized the importance of compassionate care as he battled cancer, of which he ultimately succumbed.
Since then, 300 hospitals have adopted this program. Caregivers meet on a regular basis over lunch to discuss difficult cases, not from a clinical standpoint, but from an emotional perspective. The overwhelming feedback from these conferences is that the participants leave with a better understanding of the importance of compassionately caring for the whole patient.
We look forward to starting these rounds at SNMH this month. Dr. Jeff Kane will bring his expertise in counseling and clinical care to the facilitator role and Dr. Winni Loesch will bring her wealth of experience from years of family practice to the physician leader role.
Our hope is that this makes us better as an organization and as providers of medical care for our community. We are committed, not only to being excellent clinicians, but in fully caring for you with every encounter.