On February 26th 2011 UMC St Radboud Reshape & Innovation Center in cooperation with IFMSA-NL organised a kick-off conference in Nijmegen for Compassion for Care. The conference brought students from all walks of healthcare education together with healthcare visionaries. People that have brought passion and com-passion back into their field of healthcare in their own particular way. Together they have made a start with writing a charter that will state why and how compassion and participatory medicine will reshape the future of health care in the Netherlands and abroad. The final charter will provide the healthcare paragraph for the international initiative Charter for Compassion that has originated from TED. in the USA. The charter will presented during TEDxMaastricht on April 4th 2011.
Students that are being educated for medical professions often start out with passion to help and heal. During their education most of them lose this passion. Patients become cases and numbers. Work is not about helping people anymore but about competition and the battle of egos, about protocols, checklists and targets. This results in large numbers of overworked, addicted and depressed doctors. 33 percent of students become disillusioned during their internship. 20 percent of residents show signs of burn out. 40 percent of doctors suffer from chronic fatigue. They have seen their ideals crushed by a merciless system in which there is less and less space for solidarity, collegiality, shared experiences and the job satisfaction that goes with them.
Compassion for Care wants to try to restore these elements in the healthcare system. To begin with: the curricula in healthcare education. The UMC St Radboud, the initiator and co-founder of Compassion for Care and host of the kick-off conference has made a its first small steps based on its own organisational vision that a patient should be a member of his own healthcare team.
Compassion is the attitude and the behaviour resulting from living according to the golden rule: treat others as you would wish to be treated. This rule is the basic principle of all large world views and religions. It should become the basic attitude of healthcare professionals: treat patients and clients as you would like to be treated. Especially when healthcare professionals become patients themselves they realise how much the health care system has deviated from this principle. The book Dokter is Ziek (The Doctor is Ill, Dutch) shows this well.