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Reflections

Kindness and compassion: part of professionalism

Kim Oates

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Abstract

Why do we worry about letting patients know that we care for them, how should professional behaviour embrace the human qualities of kindness and compassion, and is there room for this to be ‘taught’ in Australian medical schools?

Article Extract

Way back in my intern days, it was unusual for consultants to talk with their ‘public’ patients, apart from a quick comment on a ward round. The hard stuff was often left to us, the interns – young people with minimal life experience, an overwhelming workload and no training in the gentle art of communication.

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