Views & Reviews Starting Out

How to encourage compassion

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 03 April 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2049
  1. Kinesh Patel, junior doctor, London
  1. kinesh_patel{at}

He looked at me through newly opened eyes as if I were half crazed. I know this look well: it’s one I’ve seen quite a few times in my career. “How are you, Frank? It’s been quite a while,” I said, rubbing him on the upper arm as a measure of my affection.

“Fine,” he mumbled groggily, no doubt wondering who the lunatic stroking him was.

He had come in for a coronary artery bypass graft three weeks before. The procedure had gone well, but his age and …

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