how do you develop that stiff upper lip and stay compassionate

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    How do you develop a sense of distance from political situations with colleagues/instructors/mentors, and still keep that compassion that brought you to medicine? It is hard to overcome that waded up ball of emotions stuck in your throat when dealing with emotionally charged situations. Is there some formula for “getting tough”?


    Great question! I don’t think that it is so much developing a stiff upper lip as developing a rubber exterior and maintaining your professionalism. Remember that your first priority is your patient and not the political views of yourself, your colleagues or your instructors. Do what is best for your patient and in doing so, you keep ahold of your honesty, integrity and compassion without being dragged into the emotional whirlpool you don’t want or need to be part of. After working in Healthcare for 15 years, I have seen too many so-called professional medical personnel become so embroiled in their own view-point that their patients suffer. If you feel strongly about a given situation that involves the care of a patient, state your case calmly and professionally and you actually have a better chance of being heard! Just keep in mind that you also have the right to abstain from making any of your personal views known in any situation and the right to say that you do not want to become part of emotional heat. Sometimes knowing that can empower you enough to keep your cool even if those around you don’t!

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