Living Well Integrative Health Center

2176 Windsor Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. (902) 406-1500

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Supporting compassion in care. Your stories matter.

August 4, 2017

So today I got this in response to a story I shared with a kindred spirit on the Mental Health Care Committee of the College of Family Physicians of Canada that I and privileged to sit on. It made my day. What also made my day was just what Dr. Yu is referring to. Although it pains me to hear of the suffering of my patients, it is with great honour that I hold their hurts with them. I am humbled by their courage, I am inspired by their strength and I learn from their experiences. In the midst of what to some could be misunderstood, dismissed or not even noticed is the answer to what it takes for a human to survive and thrive, to grow from our pain. Nothing is more inspiring to me. We all need this at some time over the course of our lives. It is a generous offering and a privileged gift to receive. The support of my colleagues and the growth of my patients is what enables me to keep up the fight to retain compassion as a pillar of health care in a time when it would seem this is undervalued. Compassion is at the heart of the therapeutic relationship we hold and without it there is no "care" in healthcare. Compassion is at the heart of what can transform our medical system from an illness to a wellness based model. Settle for nothing less. Human; kind. We need both. x Maria

Hi Maria,

I realized today that as family doc, we are given this
special “license” to Learn; it tell everyone “hey! it’s ok to trust and tell this guy everything. He will keep it to himself and will act in your interest…

As a result we are privileged to hear (if we are respectful, curious and compassionate enough to listen) diverse real life stories over decades long from many individuals who, in the context of seeking medical care, are willing to disclose “everything”.

These stories collectively give us the context to understand. The understandings earns us the Trust of our patients; the Trust can power positive and durable change in our patients; the Trust makes us stronger and fulfilled. This I feel is our privilege as family physicians.

Carlos Yu BMath, MD, CCFP(EM), CTH, FCFP

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