Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters A friend in need

Caring still lives

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 15 July 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a798
  1. David R Warriner, F2 doctor (general practice)
  1. 1Derwent Surgery, Malton YO17 8PH

    The practice of friendship and compassion in medicine is alive and well.1 Medicine is not merely a cold, competency based, clinical science but a warm, profound, and tactile art. Proficiency at medicine cannot be measured by exams or research but only that most potent of barometers, patients’ satisfaction. We are the most privileged profession in society; people from all walks, sexes, and colours will take their time to divulge innermost hopes and fears, but only if we take our time to reach out and listen. Patients and doctors both want to feel valued and to be remembered, and this will be achieved only by a mutual sharing in each others experiences and lives. Don’t blame your lack of training, time, or team members, because this is a skill that cannot be taught, rushed, nor delegated. This skill is called caring.


    Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a798


    • Competing interests: None declared.


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