emotions

Why Doctors Write

How does writing affect a doctor’s practice of medicine? What are the ethics of writing about patients? Should patients be part of the process? Watch the full program broadcast on WGBH -Boston. More

Acne

A young Navajo woman files silently into my office, making no eye contact. As she slips into the chair errant strands of black hair spill across her face. Through the breaches I catch glimpses of her rich dark skin riddled with the pockmarks of severe acne. More

The Small Costs

We all hear about “health care costs,” a lumbering behemoth that dominates the news. But it is the smaller amounts, literally the pocket money, that often has the strongest effect on the concrete currency of health. Sometimes doctors find themselves in the position of offering their patients a few dollars to help with a co-pay or transportation home. More

Why Doctors Don’t Take Sick Days

From day one in medical training, the unspoken message is that calling in sick is for wimps. Most doctors ignore their symptoms and resist taking the day off unless they are sick enough to be hospitalized in the next bed over. What explains this toxic brew of denial, ignorance and bravado? More

When Doctors Share With Patients

Doctors often “self-disclose” to patients in an attempt to empathize. But contrary to what might be expected, such self-disclosures often turned out not to be helpful in addressing patients’ concerns or building rapport. More

NYU Stories review of “What Doctors Feel”

A rare glimpse into the effects of shuttling from patient to patient without being allowed to process the powerful feelings—fear, anger, grief—that naturally arise when lives are at stake. More

The Raw Fear of Being a Patient

At that moment, my faith in science plummeted from beneath me. My decades of medical training, my Ph.D. in biochemistry, my grounding in the scientific method, all evaporated in the blink of an eye. More

Clinical Correlations review of “What Doctors Feel”

As the saxophone virtuoso Charlie Parker said, “If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.” More

Science-Based Medicine review of “What Doctors Feel”

A patient might reasonably say “I don’t give a damn how my doctor feels as long as she gets me better,” but emotions affect everything we do, influencing clinical decisions and patient outcomes. More

Developing Empathy–Video

Danielle Ofri discusses empathy, medical errors, teaching medical students, being a role model, the ethics of writing about patients, and her absolute distaste for New York City roaches.
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The Dirty Secret About Medical Errors

As physicians we see medicine as a science. We think of ourselves as rational, evidence-based practitioners. But we are far less rational than we tell our patients and ourselves that we are. More

Can We Let Doctors Be Human?

Is our vision clouded because we are so immersed in the world of sickness? Is it because this helps reinforce the power dynamic that has kept patients “in their place” for centuries? Or might it be because, like our patients we doctors are scared down to our bones? If we were to see our patients living the lives that we live, then there would be nothing to separate them from us. And then we could easily become them. More

An Epidemic of Disillusioned Doctors?

“That’s it,” I thought, after an overwhelming morning in clinic. “I quit!” It’s a thought that crosses the minds of the majority of doctors, it seems. A survey of more than 13,000 doctors found that more than two-thirds feel negatively about their profession. More

Books by Danielle Ofri

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