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Opinion: Medicine's search for meaning

The New York Times, September 19, 2013

Every day, we are reminded that the health care system is in crisis. We are going bankrupt. There are too many lawsuits. We practice defensive medicine. We restrict access. But surveys of doctors indicate a problem that penetrates much deeper than this. Today, almost 50 percent of doctors report symptoms of burnout — emotional exhaustion, low sense of accomplishment, detachment. Medicine is facing a crisis, but it's not just about money; it's about meaning. We often think of medicine as a science, and many doctors do come to think of themselves as technicians. But healing involves far more than knowledge and skill.