Doctor Advises Medical Students to read SHAKESPEARE to ‘Connect with Patients’

Doctor Advises Medical Students to read SHAKESPEARE to ‘Connect with Patients’

Doctor Advises Medical Students to read SHAKESPEARE to ‘Connect with Patients’
Photo: Daily Mail UK

A doctor from Scotland suggested that the current medicine curriculum should include studying the works of William Shakespeare to teach undergraduates how to connect more closely with their patients.

Palliative care Dr. David Jeffrey reiterated the need for more emotional connections in clinical practice. He said this will improve doctor-patient relations interactions.

Currently, physicians can practice a process of “detached concern.” This is wherein they can distance themselves from patients, avoiding emotions by focusing on biomedical facts.

Further, doctors can sometimes appear to distance themselves from patients emotionally, a method for dealing with the job. 

Nevertheless, Dr. Jeffrey suggested breaking down this emotional barrier for the benefit of the patients. 

He suggested medical students to study the works of Shakespeare which are about appreciation of empathy, or the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. 

Further, he said empathy “can create a sense of security in situations of great uncertainty.”

His study is currently published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

“Shakespeare’s defining gift is his empathic approach – each of his characters speaks in their own voice,” the doctor said. “This generates a narrative composed of multiple individual perspectives, while suppressing his own ego.”

Doctor Advises Medical Students to read SHAKESPEARE to ‘Connect with Patients’
Photo: Daily Mail UK

He also said Shakespeare’s plays may be a creative way to enhance empathy among medical students.

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