Putting a Broken Doll Back Together Again

Johanna Shapiro
Like Humpty-Dumpty, some patients arrive in their physicians’ exam rooms shattered on many levels because of complex multiple illnesses, severe emotional traumas, or both . Sometimes, like the king’s men , physicians despair of ever putting these patients back together. It is a daunting task and one that requires great courage and great humility. Jo Marie Reilly uses the metaphor of a broken doll to describe the devastation of intimate partner violence and the parallel metaphor of “the doll defender/tender/mender” to characterize the physician who must try to repair her patient.

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