Medical Symbol Vector

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For a significant number of caregivers, their religion is intrinsically tied to their practice. For others, spiritual concerns arise from the patients seeking solace.  The University of Chicago, a world renowned medical institute, has created a Program on Medicine and Religion, a unique blend of theology and clinical care. From May 23 – May 25, 2012 the program held a conference in Chicago, USA, “Responding to the Call of the Sick: Religious Traditions and Health Professions Today”, much of which touched on palliative and hospice care.

The conference sought to reach a wide audience including physicians, nurses, clinical care professionals, scholars and other health care experts on an array of topics within religion, ethics, science and the practice of care.  Speakers came from around the world including Israel, Jordan, and Malaysia.

While addressing contemplations of the interplay between religion and medicine from a more academic perspective, the conference did surface some important questions for practitioners to consider: how do we balance practical care and faith?  How should caregivers respond to address spiritual concerns of patients?  These questions can help caregivers be more knowledgeable about how their work can affect their patient and equip them for challenges they may face in their work.

While we may not have the answers, Manya A. Brachear, a Chicago Tribune Reporter, shares experiences of caregivers’ contact with spirituality in their practice. The program’s latest project, titled Project on a Good Physician, will take on the moral and ethical questions of what makes a good physician. 

Please share your experiences and insights as well, right here on our blog.