This poem from Professor Stephen A. Schmidt, EdD calls into question the utility of a reductionist approach to health care, calling instead for empathetic physicians who treat their patients as people, not merely the sum of their diseases.

When you come into my hospital room,
you need to know the facts of my life
that there is information not contained in my hospital chart
that I am 40 years married, with 4 children and 4 grandchildren
that I am “genetically Lutheran”… with gut disease, like Luther
that I am a professor
that I teach teachers, priests, sisters how to nurture faith in the
next generation
that I love earthv sensuous life, beauty, travel, eating, drinking
J&B scotch, the theater, opera, the Chicago Symphony, movies,
all kinds, water skiing, tennis, running, walking, camping
that I love loving, the wonder and awe of sexual intimacy
that I enjoy gardening, smell of soil in misty rain and scorching
that I have led a chronic illness group for 12 years ”

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