Don Berwick’s lecture was about many things. As a first-year medical student, what I took away from the talk was the importance of humanism, a concept that is repeatedly thrown at us in our pre-clinical clerkship course, but which rarely sinks in unless delivered with inspiration and precision. At this early stage, when we are beginning to develop our habits, routines, and attitudes regarding helping the patient, learning about humanism is critically important.
We were told about being a humanistic doctor. Dr. Berwick’s personal experience of learning about humanism came, in part, from one of his patients at Children’s Hospital in
Finally, always thank your patient. Thank them for coming in, thank them for sharing their secrets with you, thank them for placing their trust in you. Dr. Berwick made these points in reference to Dr. Dillard, who continues to exemplify the best humanism a doctor can have. If Dr. Dillard is able to remember that I play the violin, over a year later, I have no doubt how grateful his patients must be for his strong sense of genuine care and appreciation for others.
1st year med student