The art of care goes beyond borders: one has to understand the individual as a whole


(John Jackson, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Pedro Henrique Barros Galvão was born in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

The Portuguese doctor and thinker Abel Salazar said that “The doctor who only knows medicine, nor medicine knows”, leading us to think that more than understanding the innumerable lines written in the literature, the doctor must first of all know the being. in its most different biopsychosocial aspects. Caring for others is an inseparable task of medicine, which must be inserted in the medical discourse regardless of the area to follow within the medical specialties, and in addition, the professional must be human and empathetic with others. Thus, medicine reaffirms how the art of caring for others, and in its many dimensions, becomes even more beautiful in the face of the need of those who seek it. They are not trying to conceptualize the medical professional as good or bad using misconceptions imposed by society that only aims at academic curricula with good grades or students who excel in research. But a good doctor, first of all, likes the human essence: he does not differentiate black from white, rich from poor, sexual orientation, whether he is a refugee or not. The good doctor is the one who, wherever he is, will attend to the being before him, and not just the disease that affects him.

In times of fleeting appearances and mechanistic medical training, aimed at medical education to work in private health networks, the human being can never be left aside, and treated only as an object of study. Humanized medicine proves to us that, rather than treating the disease, we must understand the individual there and help him in whatever he needs. For this, whether the doctor attending in his own country or not, attending in his city or not, he will be exercising a medicine that would never judge him as good or bad, but as a professional able to meet the individual in his most different needs. The physician should never move away from theoretical studies and new discoveries of medicine to better serve those in need, but without losing the essence of what is proposed by the area: the art of caring.

It is undisputed that medicine is the science in which one is unsure of anything, but the greatest certainty that the physician must have is that liking one’s neighbor as oneself is a universal truth in which one must practice it at any moment.

About the author

Pedro Henrique Barros Galvão was born in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. He began his academic training in 2016, at Faculdades Santo Agostinho (FASA), in Vitória da Conquista, Bahia. In 2018 he joined IFMSA Brazil, local committee FASA, and has since fallen in love
with Human Rights in its most diverse fields, whether in the medical field or not. It is part of SCORP Human Rights & Peace, an IFMSA group that seeks to exercise
human rights in different contexts.


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