Bedside Manner


I sometimes like to imagine what healing was like before we got so focused on machines, lawsuits, and pharmaceuticals. A time before your physician was more intent on getting the “right” codes into the laptop in the seven minutes they were allotted by the conglomerate, than actually being with you and getting to know you.

A time when the human body and the human soul was at the very center of the healing relationship. A time when we knew we were all connected, both within and without. A time when our physicians felt honored to be of service to us, instead of answering to the bottom line profit demands of a corporation.

A time when our healers were naturals at bedside manner.

That unique capacity to be with another human being; next to them, holding their hand, looking into their eyes, being with them as they made their journey through life. In both, as they say, in sickness and in health. What an honor to be privy to the deepest, realest and most raw experiences of another soul.

And now, what a devastating turnaround that it has gone missing. Only to be exchanged for not only poor substitutes, but for a form of “care” that is most decidedly devoid of care. Even at times, dangerous. What could possibly have replaced what we need most? Money incentives, efficiency, standard protocols, separate specializations, insurance codes, following the rules, and fear. Yes, fear.

Fear that they will miss something or make a mistake. Fear of being ostracized, sued or fired for stepping outside of SOP. Fear of getting too involved. Fear that they cannot help us. Perhaps worst of all, fear of their own humanity, and of showing that to us.

We need this. We need those in the healing profession to reclaim the human roots of their calling. Visionaries. Those with the courage to do less technically in the service of doing more healing wise. Those willing to break ranks with anything that violates their sacred obligation to us, and to what it is that actually heals.

Those willing to claim the power and the healing Presence of such quaint and outdated practices as the art and science of bedside manner: A genuine and authentic relationship built on care that transcends any agenda other than that.

Maybe this has never occurred in history. Maybe it’s pure fantasy on my part to believe in its existence. But this is what I yearn for: Medicine built on integrity, real care, and most of all, a healing relationship with a physician who trusts that connection above all else.