Humanism in Perspective: Trust

We’re excited to announce that the Director for the Center for Humanism at New Jersey Medical School, Dorian Wilson, MD, will be starting a new column here at The Human Fabric. Introducing the first installment of Humanism in Perspective:

Humanism is a relatively new buzz word in the popular medical lexicon. And while to this word we may ascribe any one of a significant number of meanings, I believe that one of the themes that are central to this concept is that of trust.

Why trust? Well, inasmuch as Humanism is about respecting individuals for whom and what they are and letting them find comfort in being themselves, this practice is not possible in an atmosphere where trust is not present. Dale Carnegie was among the many who have taught us that the most important person in our interactions with others is oneself. I am not speaking here about chauvinism, egotism or disregard for others. I am talking about the natural and innate tendency for each one of us to primarily be in touch with one’s own feelings, desires and needs. As humanists, recognizing this reality, the goal is to create an environment where individuals (in this case patients), don’t feel vulnerable in revealing, in a sense, their essence. Allowing that revelation humanistically adds to the nurturing dimension of the clinical encounter of which trust is an essential part.

Dorian J. Wilson, M. D.
Healthcare Foundation Center for Humanism and Medicine
UMDNJ – New Jersey Medical School

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