Sadhguru with Dr.Tracy Gaudet at Duke University Medical School, looks at what’s wrong with medical education and why medical schools are creating doctors without empathy. He conducts a little experiment to demonstrate the sophistication and intricate nature of the human system, and explains what it takes to nurture compassionate, concerned medical professionals. This video is part of an episode of “In Conversation With The Mystic.”
Tracey: That’s correct. First of all, I’d tell you, I love the womb analogy because I’m an obstetrician/gynecologist. (Both of them laugh) No, I just had to tell you that was really close to home. And I want to explore if I may… the way we educate physicians in this country because I believe that our… and you referenced to earlier like, for real change to happen will take generations and will take a new way of educating our healthcare providers and I think what you are just describing, the interface between the intellect and… and really putting the intellect on the pedestal and really burying the emotion is how we train – there is a lot of research around this in the United States, medical education that that is what we take caring compassionate people into our medical schools. So it is not look as though the problem is our selection. People are calm with open hearts and with compassion and love and there is a lot of data that looks at what happens one year into medical training, two years into medical training where we are basically and I believe I don’t think this has been studied but much of it is around the value system that you are describing that we value the intellect, we devalue in a professional setting, in the healthcare setting, the emotional.
So people are reinforced to split those two. And what we learn… what the studies show is that one year, two years into training empathy and compassion in the people that that were empathetic, loving people and they came in has to… has plummeted and they self-report that their medical care – not surprisingly – is different, you know, this is not surprising. But my question is really how… how can we… I guess the simple way to say this is, I believe if we cannot sit with our own suffering as physicians, we can’t sit with the suffering of our patients. So the gentleman in Dallas… well, I can… I am comfortable dealing with your diabetes and hypertension because I have the tools to fix that I believe and I am trained to do that but I don’t even want to open the door if I even knew what questions to ask that might reveal your suffering because I don’t know how to be present with that. So I… I’d love your thoughts on that… those comments and then how do we begin to train and how our learners or physicians to be in other healthcare providers put emotion at the same level as the intellect?
Sadhguru: See, we are still… see if you want flowers to grow in your garden, you don’t have to think flowers, you don’t have to chant flowers. You just have to think of soil, manure, water, sunlight – nothing to do with flowers; if you handle filth well, flowers will happen. (Laughs)
Tracey: (Laughs) That’s good. If you handle filth well, flowers will happen… (To her colleagues: Write that down.) (Laughter)
Sadhguru: Those people who think of flowers, they will end up with Chinese-made plastic flowers.
Sadhguru: They will not have flowers. So we are again thinking of empathy, compassion, love – these are all consequences of a human being, being in a certain way. We are trying… see the… the whole approach of the intellect is go for the fruit, goal-oriented. No, not the fruit, the root… you nurture the root, fruit will happen. Fruit is a consequence. You are shooting for the consequence without being interested in the cause. (Laughs) That’s not going to produce long-term results. Then this is what you will end up with something that will work short-term and then that itself becomes a huge problem. Right now, healthcare system itself is a huge problem by itself.
Sadhguru: It can eat up the… gobble up the nation.
Sadhguru: Not give it health, it can gobble up the whole nation, it is growing into that size. The very fact that pharmaceutical industry is the second largest industry on the planet speaks volumes about our health, isn’t it?
Sadhguru: People tell me, I do not know the statistic. These are all things which are, you know, being circulated on the internet and things like that. They say almost thirty seven percent of the medicine, all kinds of medicines manufactured in the world are consumed by Americans themselves.
Sadhguru: They don’t even account for a miniscule of the population and if they’re consuming thirty seven percent, either they are paranoid about their health or really they are unhealthy. One of these things must be true, isn’t it? So we need to look at this. If you want this to enter the medical school, one simple way is if the medical school can start in some way, we can… we can prescribe a method with which first, one who wants to touch somebody else’s body should make some effort to know about his own. Something very simple… need not be… like you are not going to spend twelve years in meditation. I am… I am sure that’s not practical for you but I am saying at least twelve days. Twelve days everybody can give, isn’t it totally focused on the inward, happenings of what’s happening?
I can do a simple experiment for you. Are you okay?
Sadhguru: If I treat you as a subject and experiment? (Laughter) See, just the hands, okay? Keep all the five fingers together. Place it gently upon your thigh. Don’t press it down, just gently placed. Don’t do it yet, just look at me; after that I will tell you how. (Laughter) So holding it this way, all that you are required to do is with your eyes closed, you will inhale and exhale slightly deeper than normal. All of you, most of you are medical professionals, so you know much more about these things than me. But I want you to just notice how the air fills up into your lungs or in other words, where is the maximum expansion and contraction? As you are doing this, I will say ‘switch.’ When I say ‘switch,’ without breaking the rhythm of your breathing, just turn this hands over.
For those of you who cannot see, I’m raising this. You don’t have to raise this. Upon your thigh, just turn your hand over and continue to breathe. And once again when I say switch, get back. In these two conditions of the hand or the positions of the hand, something about your breath will change. I want you to notice what it is. If you want to notice it, the… what is needed is – your spine should be erect, eyes should be closed, and you must be focused on the breath. If you do these three things, you will distinctly notice this. All the five fingers should be together. Just breathe slightly deeper than normal, inhalation-exhalation slightly deeper than normal, all five fingers together.
Sadhguru: You notice some difference? What is it? When it’s like this (Gestures), where is the maximum expansion and contraction when it’s facing down? Can somebody say?
Participant: Deeper breath when it’s up…
Sadhguru: Okay, I will tell you what’s happening, then just do it and see. Immediately it is noticeable. If you hold it this (Gestures) way, the maximum expansion and contraction happus in the… happens in the lower lobe of the lung. So you will notice it in the diaphragm region. If you turn it around, it moves to the middle lobe of the lung, you’ll notice it higher up. Just take one breath and see, it is noticeable.
(Participants doing the process.)
Sadhguru: Is it so? So something so simple, most human beings will not take these things into account. So just if you turn your hand around, the very way you breathe alters itself. It’s not just the breath. The very way, the fundamental life energies function in this body alters itself simply because you turned your hand around. How many times in a day unconsciously are you doing this? (Gestures) And hoping to be peaceful, it doesn’t work like that. This is like you got into a car, you don’t know what these three pedals are, just kick any one of them whenever you feel like it, you know, what a jerky driver you will be? (Laughter) That’s what has happened to human beings. It is not that people do not know peace, health, love, joy, they know all these things but it’s jerky; it’s not sustainable, isn’t it?
If you did not know a moment of peace or joy, you would be on the suicide list. You know peace, you know love, only problem is you can’t hold onto it, isn’t it? That’s because this is a chemical soup. If I give the same ingredients to all of you, soup ingredients to all of you, and each one of you make the soup, you will have still hundred varieties of soups, isn’t it? The same ingredients, yes or no? Each home it tastes different. Just the way you make it. This (Gestures) also is the same thing – same ingredients, just the way you make it within yourself, isn’t it? (Laughs) Whether it’s health or well-being, peace, love, joy, ecstasy, every human experience has a chemical basis to it and chemistry is not a basis. Chemistry is also a consequence of a different dimension of who you are. I think Mitch was putting up those five koshas and all.
In yoga, because you are talking about the mind… in yoga, we don’t see anything as mind. All different levels of bodies – physical body, mental body, energy body, etheric body and the other one will not translate well, it’s called bliss body in English but that’s a wrong translation. (Laughs) So, physical body is something that you gather because of the food that you have eaten. So what kind of food you have eaten definitely interpret(s) itself as the nature of the body that you have. Well, your genetics, the other information has a serious impact but still… the design of this building is important but still the material is also important, isn’t it? Even if the design is fabulous, if the material is bad, still the whole building may not fall down on our heads but panels could be falling on our heads. So, this is happening. We are… we are not considering what we eat as to what is the best thing for this body, so food.
The next thing is mental body. There is a whole intelligence, there is a network of intelligence across this. When we say mind, what are we referring to? A certain level of memory and a certain level of ability to use that memory in the form of intelligence, isn’t it? You tell me if you being… all of you being doctors, you know this very well. A single cell what it is doing, it can freak your mind. (Tracey Laughs) It is doing that many things, isn’t it?
Sadhguru: Then (There’s?) no question about that. And your single cell what it remembers, it can freak your mind once again. See, do you remember ten generations ago, how your grandmother looked?
Sadhguru: No, you have no memory of that. Your body remembers. Your grandmother’s nose is still sitting on your face because your body remembers. How your forefathers looked a million years ago, it still remembers, isn’t it? So now if I have to speak, I… I am sitting like this because I have no such thing as thought in my mind; it’s very difficult for you to understand, it’s… that’s why they diagnosed me as dead. (Laughter) Because I think with my body, I function with my body, not just with one part. So whole process of life is right now being subjected to thought and people are stressful because what should happen on different levels of your system is all being done in one place. If it’s all done in one place, just living… most people are only taking care of their survival, earning a living, reproducing, and dying one day. For that, they freaked out. They are not handling (Laughs) some galaxies, just their lives. (Laughter)
Editor’s Note: Subscribe to the official Sadhguru YouTube channel to watch new videos every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.