Humanism in Medicine

Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry — Mark Twain

This week our university welcomed 3 distinguished physicians to speak on Humanism and share their reflections. These talks spurned my ideas and got me thinking about what I think about this topic. As a seeker, I am always looking for new guides on how to live life, how to live with purpose, how to dedicate my life towards something meaningful. I’m always wondering what could be the best thing I could be doing right now?

Is it to be reading a book? Is it to be working out? Is it to be meditating? Is it to be writing right now? Should I be out trying to meet new people? Is it to be studying more about embryogenesis? Or business?

I never quiet know what sorts of practices lead to an optimal life. Before you ask, an optimal life, to me would involve some of these things here.

1. That I find a true sense of selflessness in my work and that I gain happiness from work.

2. That the people I want to love me, actually love me.

3. That I am able to help people in a wide-reaching and scalable way, not just one to one interactions.

4. A life that is financially free, socially integrated, family orientated, with old friends.

Yes, you must live life beautifully and not allow the spirit of the world that makes gods out of power, riches, and pleasure make you to forget that you have been created for greater things. — Mother Teresa

I’m really grateful for all of the growing that I have gone through this year. The self knowledge and wisdom collected have led me to realize what things are the most important to me. Dedicating my life to my work, to treating my patients like family, to working and studying for mastery and nothing less, these are the mental models I’ve inherited that have made me very successful. The joy of getting better, the thrill of self-improvement, has been an intrinsic motivation that has not left me for the past several years. All great things come from great challenge.

And there are so many people to thank for the inspiration and motivation along the way. To my teachers, friends, and classmates who reach beyond themselves, you are my peers and you are the ones I hope to be remembered along side with when my time here is over.

Furthermore, I hope that my will to live provides inspiration for all those who are yearning to improve their lives for themselves or for their families. We may be just a few speckles of matter in the universe but our constant individual struggles do mean something, in that they amount to the work you’ve done and how you measure that in some way defines you.

My greatest fear is not that I am inadequate, my greatest fear is that I’ll never reach my full potential. I have no specialness about me that someone else can not replicate given the same strategies and circumstances. And thats why I feel like I can just as well copy any of the great men and women of the world to achieve things beyond myself.

So while we listened to these doctors speaking about Humanism in relation to medical and dental practice, I want to know how can we apply humanism to personal empowerment and mastery and growth?