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A Closer look

C OM M U N I TY S E RV I C E

Creating a network of empathetic physicians By Amanda Castleman

The Golden Rule teaches us to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It’s a simple credo that can be challenging to live fully, day in, day out… especially for busy doctors. But the Healthcare Foundation Center for Humanism and Medicine gives Rutgers New Jersey Medical School students the tools to do just that. “It provides a healthcare environment where compassion, empathy, sincerity, sensitivity and love can flourish, resulting in better communication between the physician, healthcare provider and the patient,” explains Program Administrator, Tanya Norment. The center also has collaborated with numerous NJMS student groups on lectures, panel discussions, community outreach programs, a literary journal and other activities. Humility plays a key role in caring for others without ego, success or monetary gain being the primary driver. And this ethos can have a ripple effect. “Teaching medical students to be humanistic physicians has far-reaching implications,” Norment says. “If they

learn to treat their patients with more empathy and compassion, they will also treat their families, friends, and colleagues with the same kindness.” Since 2004, the center has given 46 students the opportunity to take a deep dive into compassionate care with Humanism Fellowships. All say that the program helped to facilitate their transition into residencies and practices, and helped them overcome challenges with grace. Current fellow, Thomas Di Vitantonio, class of 2019, says: “I am truly grateful to have been a member of the Humanism Center family. It has been a constant source of inspiration. I’ve always been able to keep the core tenant of what it means to be a physician central in my mind: we are caring for a vulnerable individual and their family in a time of need. The Humanism Center makes sure we never lose sight of this essential part of being a doctor, even in this ever-evolving healthcare landscape.”

RUTGERS NEW JERSEY MEDICAL SCHOOL | 9

Profile for Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Pulse Magazine Spring 2019  

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