What's Wrong with Our Medical Schools?
Dr. Tracy Gaudet of Duke University in conversation with Sadhguru, looks at some of the fundamental lapses of modern medicine, specifically the way doctors are educated in today's medical schools. Sadhguru explains the cause behind the gradual decline in the levels of empathy and compassion of medical students, a fact substantially corroborated by research findings. One prominent reason is the strongly goal-oriented education that people are receiving in most schools and universities today.
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.