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A Grateful Physician

Rebecca Pauly

Over twenty-five years of practicing internal medicine, I have seen many friends and colleagues as patients. I have frequently considered if I maintain the correct amount of emotional distance to be clear in my assessment and treatment of their problems. Can one care too much? Surely, it is good to care (enough). Might a physician care too much about a friend/colleague to see clearly the diagnosis in front of them? What is the correct professional distance? I read the poem, “The Good Physician,” by Bruce P. Brown, MD, which emphasizes the far spectrum of caring and not caring. This reflection led me to put words on paper, and better understand my beliefs.


A Grateful Physician

I hurt when you hurt

I worry when you worry

I cry when you cry


I rejoice when you rejoice

I sing when you sing

I laugh when you laugh


I am grateful for your openness to share your story

I am grateful for your engagement in healthy choices

I am grateful for our building a relationship and creating a therapeutic bond


I am grateful for my love of lifelong learning

I am grateful for my passion for the art as well as the science of medicine

I am grateful for our commitment to appreciate each other, to reflect, and to grow

Rebecca Pauly

Rebecca Pauly

MD, FACP, Vice Dean