The Caring Heart of a Physician
A physician must have a caring heart. This essential spirit has existed since ancient times. In the chapter “On the Skill and Sincerity of a Master Physician” of his work Essential Formulas for Emergencies, the famous Tang Dynasty physician Sun Simiao (581-682) discussed how a physician should have a compassionate heart, that is, a caring heart. A physician is expected to have great love, a sense of empathy and a desire to relieve suffering; he must disregard personal interests and focus entirely on treating the sick. In so doing, the physician becomes a “master physician to all the people,” a great physician held in high esteem by all the people. This expression can be considered a classic expression of the humanist spirit of Chinese medicine.
When a master physician treats an illness, he must be calm in spirit, and free from desires; he must first have a compassionate heart, and be committed to relieving the sufferings of all people. (Sun Simiao: Essential Formulas for Emergencies)
The practice of medicine is one which is filled with caring. The author has written this book in the hope that all physicians will likewise have caring hearts. (Wang Ji: Preface to A Study of Our Teacher’s Medical Thinking)
Thus if a physician has the correct mindset, even if his skills are imperfect, he will at least not harm his patients. (Xu Dachun: The Origin and Development of Illnesses)