Everyone knows modern medicine is rooted in science but did you know that it is also an art?
I didn’t until I met Suraj and we co-authored the book ‘When Spirit Meets Science.’
This post is an extract from the chapter ‘Medicine Calling’ in the book ‘When Spirit Meets Science.’
It highlights the principles upon which modern medical practice is based.
So what makes medicine a science and an art?
- Medical training enables one to gain firsthand experience of the scientific method. From dissection of the human body in the first year to the delivery of babies in the final year, plenty is available for a medical student to see, experience and learn hands on.
- The treatments offered are largely evidence based and scientifically proven.
- The benefits as well as potential side effects of every medicine/treatment are well documented. There is no sugar coating.
- The skill of a clinician lies in making a reasonable accurate diagnosis and offering a suitable treatment plan for an individual patient.
- A treatment is offered only when its benefits to the patient far outweigh the risks that it poses – and this often requires clinical judgment.
- Medicine is a combination of science and art. Diseases are as complex as the human body and their diganoses and treatment can be quite challenging. Every treatment is offered in context, after evaluating the benefits and risks.
- Finally, medicine is so much more than just treating a disease. It also involves interaction with human beings, which means interpersonal skills, empathy, ability to build a rapport with patients are part of the job too.
I always look for the Yin and Yang in every scenario. I believe both components are essential to complete the circle of life. To me, the science in medicine is the Yang while the art is the Yin!