Caring for the Patient

October 16, 2015

I want my patients to believe I consider Peabody’s advice before I see them, that I recognize our shared humanity...

The art of good care is caring for the patient.

-Francis Peabody, MD

I want my patients to believe I consider

Peabody’s advice before I see them,

that I recognize our shared humanity,

suffering’s shame, my power to humiliate

or heal. I want them to believe I care

with the same love and devotion I feel

for my wife and daughter. But there are

moments I ignore the old wisdom,

like when I am on call at dawn and all

I want is sleep. That is when I feel

Francis Peabody grab my lab coat collar

and shake me hard, until I remember the art

I sometimes care to forget.