What is it about?

Health professionals spend their entire careers in the expert care of patients who are experiencing very difficult and chronic illnesses. However, I have found that there is no equivalent in professional training for personal, lived experiences as patients or loved ones of patients, both of which can serve as unforgettably humanizing teachers for building empathy, compassion and perspective-taking skills. This 55-word story is a reflection on a memorable moment in one such experience.

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Why is it important?

Health professionals need to reflect on how they can promote their whole-person wellness as they navigate stressful situations professionally and personally. Writing is an important way to process and engage in perspective-taking in order to construct meaning and promote growth.


I needed to be strong for my friend, so was not able to share with her all I was feeling. Writing this piece helped me to process a very difficult situation and my emotional responses to it.

Jen Hartmark-Hill
University of Arizona

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: “Deeper cuts”: A 55-word story., Families Systems & Health, March 2024, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/fsh0000816.
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