The New York Times published an article in September, 2013 about the search for meaning in the field of medicine that has opened up questions for today’s professionals in general. The questions it addresses for medical professionals are in those areas that are normally kept behind the stoic door of professionalism. Where the average doctor is taught and conditioned to replace empathy and emotion for cool logic and detachment, the movement towards more emotionally invested doctors is sweeping through the practice of medicine, according to David Bornstein, the author of Medicine’s Search for Meaning.
Imagine a doctor who would actually take the time and effort to stop and mourn with a parent who has lost a child at birth, or hold the hand of a patient who has just been diagnosed with fatal cancer just to provide emotional comfort. While some argue that the emotional baggage of being human interferes with logical reasoning, thus leading to emotionally charged mistakes, the movement for medicine professionals argues and shows some empirical evidence that being emotionally involved “can improve critical thinking, decision-making, and the ability to act quickly in crisis moments.”
Of the legal field, Mr. Bornstein’s article begs the question: can lawyers also attune emotionally to their clients and still maintain viable and competent representation? In this ever more litigious society, the answer must be a resounding yes! Maintaining distance from clients, from our client’s emotions, and even from our own emotions regarding our clients’ situations will only lead to failure. Its easy to tune into our need to provide for our own families and tune out the needs of our clients. However, tuning into the emotions of our clients and what they truly need will allow us to be more than mere legal representatives, but healers also, allowing us to give the client exactly what they need to be made whole.
Check out David Bornstein’s article here.