Two Doctors and a Patient

by Jennifer Smith, RN, Australia 

Today at work I witnessed something very beautiful, although it was something very ordinary. I watched two of my colleagues – two doctors – have a conversation about a patient.

Nothing unusual about this, given that we were all in a hospital. What was beautiful was the way they were with each other and then the patient.

This particular patient had only very recently received a very serious medical diagnosis. There had been a lot of medical assessments, tests and treatments in the previous 48 hours. All of which is often very overwhelming for anyone in this situation.

As I went about my work, organising patients for my day, I saw these two doctors standing together, talking to each other, and one was handing the care of the patient over to the other doctor as they were changing shifts. The thing that stood out the most was how genuinely caring they were, especially in the way they spoke of the person. They were considering everything about this person and their family.

Together they then spoke with the patient in a very ordinary fashion, very professional, but also connected to this patient as another human being.

You may be asking, so what’s so special about this, surely it happens every day?

This is true, however what I love about this moment was that I observed it and took note.

You see only a few years ago I would have not observed the way that these two doctors interacted with each other and would have dismissed how they spoke with the patient.

Over the last few years, with the support of Universal Medicine, I have been able to look at some of the beliefs that I have firmly held onto. One of them related to doctors and to medicine itself. One of these beliefs was that I thought doctors didn’t care, being sometimes put off by their manner, which could be abrupt, impersonal and rushed. I had seen doctors rush with patients and patients often said that they didn’t feel comfortable in talking to them as they never seemed to have the time.

One thing that I have come to understand is that we are all genuinely caring and this is our true nature, but sometimes for whatever reason we don’t allow ourselves to show this.

The doctors and all of my other colleagues are genuinely caring people who really do care for their patients. None of us are perfect and we have some not so great days. But the fact that we care does not alter.

This is especially important to see in a system that can seem so impersonal and rushed, even to someone who works within this system.

The other super important thing here was the fact that I chose to see this moment, for I am now sure that there have been many such moments that I have not even noticed before. In fact I am now a keen observer of all that goes on where I work, and there are many exquisitely beautiful moments between patients, relatives, cleaners, kitchen staff…everyone in fact.

As I ponder on why I am observing this now and not so much before, I can only put it down to how I treat and care for myself. The more open, tender and genuinely caring I am with myself, the more I see this in others.

Even though at times we may behave in ways that do not reflect the truly caring beings that we are, I know without doubt that this is our natural way and I now regularly see this in other people – the bottom line is, we are in this business because we truly love to care.


Read more:

  1. From exhaustion and feeling false to feeling vital and truly looking after myself – another great article by Jen
  2. Nursing, me and Serge Benhayon
  3. Compassionate care 

880 thoughts on “Two Doctors and a Patient

  1. It is beautiful to feel your appreciation not only for the interaction you witnessed but also for how your increasing levels of self-care have increased your awareness. No doubt this is felt by your colleagues and supports them as they work in often challenging circumstances.

  2. A very beautiful observation and particularly about yourself. There is so much we don’t allow ourselves to see as there are also many things we do not want to see. But with this picking and choosing we can never see the whole picture and remain very limited in our understanding of ourselves and others. How beautiful that we can start to see more by simply bringing more care and tenderness to ourselves, as the more we feel at ease with ourselves and in our body – which self-care and self-love bring – the firmer the ground we are standing on and the easier we can meet the world with open arms and eyes.

  3. It is true, we have a tendency to see the negative more than the positive and also only talk about things when they go wrong and not when they go very well.

  4. ‘The more open, tender and genuinely caring I am with myself, the more I see this in others’ This is so true. And it is great when we allow ourselves to express our observations around this and to also express our appreciation too.

  5. The reason people work in the medical industry is the fact that because deep down we all truly care for one another. Sometimes it is only the dictation of the system we work in that is not supportive in having full attention for the clients we work for, as we have made other things such as administrative tasks more important.

  6. It does make sense that the more open, tender and genuinely caring we are with ourselves the more we observe and become aware of those around us as it is in our true nature to connect in this way with everyone.

  7. I loved reading this. I too used to hold beliefs about people that were sweeping generalisations and rarely true but as I have become more aware of myself and more observant of those around me I am constantly seeing things that I would have missed before.

  8. “The more open, tender and genuinely caring I am with myself, the more I see this in others.” The reflection of one person more open, tender and genuinely caring with themselves inspires this in others.

  9. It is easy to only or predominantly see what repels and disappoints us and then withdraw from life, being confirmed in the arrangement we have made with life and people, and so it is healing and necessary to see what we are capable of as sentient, compassionate beings, actually actively see it in everyone even if it is just a potential, and then meet another seeing and honouring that potential. It changes our view of and attitude towards life radically.

  10. Jennifer, thanks for the reminder that when we take the time to stop and notice, there is so much to appreciate in what is going on around us.

  11. This is so true Jennifer and great to be reminded of the fact, ‘One thing that I have come to understand is that we are all genuinely caring and this is our true nature, but sometimes for whatever reason we don’t allow ourselves to show this.’

  12. Jennifer your story very beautifully shows the ‘super powers’ held within true observation. We have the ability to enrich our lives beyond measure if we simply make the choice to ‘observe and not absorb’.

  13. What you say here is very important….’I can only put it down to how I treat and care for myself. The more open, tender and genuinely caring I am with myself, the more I see this in others.’ How important it is then that we start to truly care for ourselves because it changes the world around us.

  14. When we all work together as one, we break through many barriers and this showcases that there is plenty of true support and care being offered, which can be deeply felt by the patient, and in itself offers a healing too.

  15. I love your blog because it takes us beyond what we see, it takes us to understand doctors and nurses and the care they clearly have to be in the profession they are in. The health service is under enormous financial pressure and this puts pressure on the staff who work in those facilities as there is constantly an assessment of affordability rather than addressing need. The staff on the front line are often the ones who have to deal with not having the special tape or whatever else was out of budget.

  16. Of course all those that enter the medical and care profession come with an essence of genuine care and love for and of people, it’s simply in our nature, however not always portrayed through our behaviours. What your article teaches me Jen is that we can have no judgement on another for the day they may be having and thus their attitude at that moment but what we can do is connect, listen to and hold them in the essence that we know they are from.

  17. Lovely to read about the two doctors you observed, Jennifer. People go into the caring professions because they do care about people. It’s great to read and be reminded about this. Many years ago when I was nursing on the wards, it was common for doctors to talk over a patient in bed, as if they weren’t there. Disregarding and rude it felt to me at the time. I trust that things have changed a lot since then. My personal experience recently as a patient would confirm this to be so. I have had great experiences with the doctors, nurses and cleaners alike.

  18. It is important to observe and acknowledge true care when we meet it. So often doctors are criticised for focussing on task rather than person and treating people as patients not human beings. It’s great to have this example of truly caring doctors and of your own evolving self.

  19. Thank you for reminding me that all too often we see what we want to see. We look through our eyes and receive an image but sometimes that image can be distorted by what we have experienced, so we may see doctors who look rushed one day which confirms to us that all doctors are always rushed rather than be understanding about what might be going on in the doctors world that would have meant they were rushed.

  20. “As I ponder on why I am observing this now and not so much before, I can only put it down to how I treat and care for myself. The more open, tender and genuinely caring I am with myself, the more I see this in others.” This to me is a beautiful line to read as it confirms to me that the more I care for and am in appreciation of myself, the more I can see ‘love at work’ everywhere I am.

  21. It is amazing Jennifer how, as you say, as we start to observe and treat ourselves with greater care and tenderness, we start to notice the way others do too. It is beautiful to know you have opened up and are able to see this happening all around you in your workplace too, and recognising that this could have been happening before, but you weren’t open to seeing it then.

  22. A hospital setting is the place where we can see the best of humanity shine through, where care for others is foremost. Even if I have experienced some Doctors who can be brief and impersonal, I have also experienced many who are deeply caring, and other hospital staff who have clearly devoted themselves to supporting others in ill health. All this is done in spite of the system, not because of it, and that makes it even more impressive and well worth appreciating.

  23. It goes to show if we care for ourselves and genuinely start to heal our hurts, anger, frustration, bitterness, resentment, ideals etc we are more open to seeing the care that is all around us.

  24. This blog shows what I have often observed and felt in my own work as a health care professional. That generally speaking it is not the people that cause the problems in our health care system but the system itself which does not support true care and equality between everyone in it.

  25. A great reflection to observe Jennifer, in building our awareness and foundation of care for ourselves we are more open to seeing and feeling the same in those around us as our natural impulse is to be loving and caring with one another, it is only when we disconnect from ourselves that we forget our true nature.

  26. “The more open, tender and genuinely caring I am with myself, the more I see this in others.” Absolutely true this has been my experience too. When I appreciate and honour myself I see and feel it reflected all around me.

  27. The more we improve the quality or livingness of our work, the more we are able to notice when others do the same and it is quite joyful when we notice.

  28. I love the fact that you can see dedicated people in most workplaces, sure there are systems that control and make some cynical but the fact that others are able to stay caring within these systems suggests there is something we can choose in each moment.

  29. i love the end of this blog, and the appreciation that the more we care for ourselves, the more we are aware of the care others provide. It is very true – and to observe what goes on around us can offer us so much.

  30. Great sharing Jennifer. Often we can focus on the negative and it’s lovely that you clocked the interaction between these two doctors and their patient. I have to say that in my many hospital visits I’ve always found the doctors and nursing staff to be very caring and most of them with a great sense of humour which no doubt helps given the stress and busyness of their working environment. It’s always good to bring understanding if at times they may be inattentive as usually it’s because there are patients who are in greater need at that time or they may be concerned about a particular patient.

  31. We have a similar thing with guests… some seem to attract problems, woes, negativity and if something is going to go wrong, somehow it’s a guarantee that it happens to them. While others are open, warm, present and the place and the staff seem to flow effortlessly round them. It’s interesting what our movements attract.

  32. Great blog Jennifer. Reading your blog reminds me of when I used to be so afraid of doctors and hospitals. From Serge Benhayon’s presentations I have built and am deepening love and care for myself and now when I visit the doctors or hospital this is what I see and experience from them and appreciate the care they have and give.

  33. Beautiful observation Jennifer ‘One thing that I have come to understand is that we are all genuinely caring and this is our true nature, but sometimes for whatever reason we don’t allow ourselves to show this.’ How amazing it would be if we did all take the time to care for one another.

  34. How deeply beautiful Jennifer, to not only observe but to acknowledge and appreciate what you did observe. Especially what you wrote here “As I ponder on why I am observing this now and not so much before, I can only put it down to how I treat and care for myself. The more open, tender and genuinely caring I am with myself, the more I see this in others.” I also have found the more I can bring awareness to myself, how I am with myself, I can then bring that to others.

  35. Now I have come to read this blog again, I wondered… ‘what would life be like if we started to care about people as much as these two doctors have done – not necessarily in a medical environment, but just in our daily lives, with our friends, family and work colleagues. Now that would be amazing.

    1. The ridiculous thing is Susan that all we would have to do to care for ourselves and others more deeply is to stop actively not caring. Caring for and indeed loving ourselves and others is as easy as allowing ourselves to be taken by a current but we fight it constantly, we kick and thrash around, we put constant effort into not caring and not letting ourselves love and be loved. Crazy isn’t it? But true.

  36. It is interesting how we can have a negative experience with say the GP and then taint all of our experiences there after, and forever hold that person in that energy. I had a similar situation where I took my daughter to the local GP and he told me there was nothing wrong with her but she ended up being very ill that very afternoon, and thank god the midwife was doing her rounds and advised me of what to do. This same GP years later tended to both my mother and father who died of cancer and he was so caring and reassuring to them.

  37. What a beautiful example of letting go of long-held beliefs only to observe something very loving and caring. I love your honesty and tenderness Jennifer, the deep level of care you have for yourself and others is evident.

  38. This gorgeous blog brings to mind the commonly used expression ‘is the glass half empty or half full?’ How we choose to be makes all the difference in how we view the world.

  39. Jennifer your blog confirms that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ – the world is like a giant mirror reflecting back the truth equally for all but many of us use various forms of protection that blurs or reduces our vision.

  40. It’s true, we put a lot of effort into not caring for ourselves, treating ourselves recklessly and even abusively, and this must have an impact on the quality of care we can offer to others. The more we learn to look after and truly care for ourselves, the quality we offer to all is so much greater.

  41. It is so true the way we view others and the world is strongly dependent on how we view ourselves. This statement offers much explanation and wisdom into why the world is the way it is.

  42. During a recent hospital visit to see a relative, we arrived outside of normal visiting hours and as such had a brief glimpse in to the world of the hospital doctor. These highly skilled, dedicated people who had an entire ward of people to care for, make decisions for, ensure their recovery. And what was really sweet to notice, was how each patient was completely trusting of their care, and was willing to follow whatever advice given. So, although the health systems have got their issues and they are not perfect, at the heart of them is people caring for and trusting eachother.

  43. “The more open, tender and genuinely caring I am with myself, the more I see this in others.” Our true nature is to care for others, and as we return to being loving and caring for ourselves our way of being naturally extends to caring for others.

    1. I agree Rosemary, as we open up to ourselves then we naturally open up to all others. As we let ourselves in then we naturally let all others in. We become a living two way street, much like the heart itself with its valves that go in and its valves that go out. And I feel that living in this way leads to a very natural transparency, an ability to be seen as well as to see.

  44. Jennifer, what a wonderful reflection and confirmation you received from the observation of this interaction that in a hospital would be a regular and routine occurrence. The deepening of the level of care you are bringing to yourself feels like it is opening your eyes, in fact all of you, to so much more of what is unfolding around you, and as a result I am sure that there will be many more reflections like this one coming your way.

  45. Much of the medical community are dedicated and caring of all of the patients they see. Appreciating the work and dedication that occurs each day helps us all take responsibility for the way we live.

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