A technical grasp of a medical condition does not always give a person a sense of the emotions behind the disease. Medical professionals, of course, cannot afford to be emotionally invested in every illness they see. Some amount of distance is needed for them to maintain their own emotional health and to give good care to patients. However, emotional or psychological struggles are a large component of a patient's suffering. If these realities are ignored, a medical professional will be much less effective on any level.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to John A. Liechty, MSW, at email@example.com. He has been a volunteer advisory board member with National Aphasia Association. He also works as a housekeeper at Oaklawn Psychiatric Hospital, Goshen, IN.
Justin B. Heinzekehr is a recent graduate of Goshen College, where he studied religion. He is a staff person at the Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning at Goshen College, Goshen, IN.