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What is Humanism in Medicine?

Humanism in medicine describes relationships between physicians and their patients that are respectful and compassionate. It is reflected in attitudes and behaviors that are sensitive to the values, autonomy, cultural and ethnic backgrounds of others.

The humanistic doctor demonstrates the following attributes (“I.E., C.A.R.E.S.”):
 
Integrity: the congruence between expressed values and behavior.
 
Excellence: clinical expertise.
 
Compassion: the awareness and acknowledgement of the suffering of another and the desire to relieve it.
 
Altruism: the capacity to put the needs and interests of another before your own.
 
Respect: the regard for the autonomy and values of another person.
 
Empathy: the ability to put oneself in another's situation, e.g., physician as patient.
 
Service: the sharing of one's talent, time and resources with those in need; giving beyond what is required.


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