Listening is such a simple act – Dr Ewen McPhee

“Listening is such a simple act. It requires us to be present, and that takes practice, but we don’t have to do anything else. We don’t have to advise, or coach, or sound wise. We just have to be willing to sit there and listen. If we can do that, we create moments in which real healing is available.” ~ Margaret J Wheatley, Listening as Healing.

We need real healing in our profession, healing that encompasses the breadth of generalist and specialist medicine, of nursing and allied colleagues. It is past time that our leaders broke bread together, listening and respecting the differences that define us, as much as our common hopes and aspirations.

Everyone has a story that should be heard, a story that defines that unique individual, and it is no different from the campfire lore that is told of our colleges and academic institutions. It is hard to hate someone whom you have taken the time to understand.

Our young people are struggling under the burden of competition, the need to fight to prove their worth, that they are ‘better’ than one another. Physician burnout, stress and suicide existed in my early career but it has never been so confronting as now.

As I travel the world and meet enthusiastic, altruistic young clinicians striving to better their communities and countries, I have come to understand that unity, love and acceptance are the ingredients that nourish more completely than any debate about money, status or power.

Building bridges from foundations of understanding, respect and our passion as healers is critical to complete ourselves and to inspire generations to come.

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