Thursday, September 05, 2013

Actors Can Help a Doctor to Improve His Bedside Manner

Actors often play the role of doctors on the silver screen.  Many doctors cringe when watching these scenes, because they are so divorced from reality. Directors often have to take liberties with medical facts in order to ensure that their story is gripping, and some doctors find this distortion amusing.  However, rather than quibble over medical trivia, doctors can learn a lot by watching these films because movie actors can help doctors improve the way they interact with their patients.

Patients have many complaints against doctors, and often their major grouse is that doctors are impersonal and cold – they do not seem to care about the people they treat.  This is not true because we doctors do  care about our patients – after all, it’s because we like helping people that we became doctors in the first place. Sadly, some doctors do not know how to express empathy. Actors who are portraying doctors do a much better job in reel life  with providing emotional support to their patients and showing that they care for them. Doctors need to learn from them, so their real life patients feel secure , happy and well-looked after, because they know that their doctors cares for them. ( They can also learn what not to do when the doctor is shown to be rude and arrogant - a portrayal which sometimes is so true to life, that is hurts to watch !)

If copying an actor who is portraying a doctor helps doctors to get in touch with their patients, then this is a useful lesson. Doctors can learn a lot from the humanities .  Books, stories, movies and actors have been inspiring people for a long time, because they strike a strong emotional chord.  Movies tell stories which can teach us lessons, if we are willing to learn ! 

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