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I Am My Brother’s Keeper

  • Dennis L. DobkinEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

I, like most medical students and residents, began my studies and early career as a physician with the ideal of relieving suffering and caring for all patients regardless of their social standing or problems. I, like many seasoned clinicians, felt my energy and ability to care deeply for patients slowly slip away with the routine of being a cardiologist—each day employing skills that I had mastered, facing changes in the health-care system while being confronted with the unfortunate polarization of the American society in which the rich became richer and the poor became poorer. Herein, I describe my encounters with a relatively young man, Maurice, who presented with heart-related conditions before and after I integrated mindfulness into my life and medical practice. While Maurice continued to struggle with alcoholism and health issues compounded by social problems, my attitude toward him was transformed over the 7-year period he came and went in and out of my care. I attribute this change in me to learning to meditate and incorporating mindfulness into my life and practice. In the end, I realized that indeed, I am my brother’s keeper.

Keywords

Compassion Mindfulness Cardiology 

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Waterbury Hospital Health CenterWaterburyUSA

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