The Case For Incorporating Spiritual Care In Medicine

Source: Huffington Post

Antonia Blumberg Associate Religion Editor, The Huffington Post

Dr. Christina Puchalski is familiar with death. The palliative care doctor and founder of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWish) has seen countless patients facing the end of life ― but there are still moments that shake her foundation.

Several years ago, Puchalski went into a checkup with a patient previously diagnosed with a terminal illness. Puchalski knew the appointment might take a while, and she was already running behind schedule. She was nervous.

“I felt the anxiety as I walked in the room,” Puchalski told The Huffington Post. “They started quibbling with each other. The husband was clearly anxious, and we were going nowhere. So I stepped out of the room for a minute because I felt myself getting sucked into the dynamic.”

In that minute, she continued, the veteran doctor took a deep breath and thought to herself: “I need to get out of that energy and be really present.”

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