Walking The Dog: Incorporating Poetry To Help Learners Connect With Relationship-Centered Care

Commentary by Johanna Shapiro, Ph.D.

The concept of relationship-centered care (RCC) and the related theory of human interaction designated Complex Responsive Processes of Relating remain exceptionally fruitful ways of thinking about doctors and patients. Relationship-centered care includes attention to the personhood of both doctor and patient, as well as their respective roles; awareness of the importance of emotions in both the patient and the doctor; and recognition of the reciprocity of influences from both doctor and patient (and from the wider healthcare system and society itself) on the relationship itself. RCC challenges the notion of compassionate detachment and instead explores connection and engagement with patients as the most appropriate and moral foundation for relationship.

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