imageNow this is a bit long over due but very welcome in my opinion.  The Institute for Humanism is concerned that the Affordable Care Act will divert attention from the doctor-patient relationship.  Have we not all looked for compassion in healthcare at some point and find it missing? 

It happens as people get rushed, have busier schedules and have to meet all the reporting issues required today. If you have a good caring doctor, you can recommend them to the foundation to become a “Gold Doctor”.  I think this foundation is one we can all relate to and reminders are needed to not to get caught up in the technology and miss the compassion today in healthcare.  BD 

image“That idea was conceived in response to a disturbing trend. Burgeoning scientific discoveries and advances in technology seemed to dwarf the interest of taking care of people who were ill, suffering and/or dying. Physician trainees were scientifically proficient and technically well-trained, but often demonstrated a sad lack of caring and compassion. Dr. Gold decided, with Sandra Gold's help and prodding, to do something about it”

When I think of humanism I think back to the commencement speech given by FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, as she emphasizes the same thing and gave a great speech at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine this year. 

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg Delivers Commencement Address at Albert Einstein College of Medicine–Video

The other side of the coin though when the doctor/patient relationship is threatened is very well shown in the documentary called the Vanishing Oath and you can use the backlink here and see how this video also plays an important part. BD

“The Vanishing Oath” – Documentary About the Diminishing Doctor-Patient Relationships When the Environment Does Not Allow Doctors To Care - Exhaustion As Well As Struggles to Take Care of Themselves Sets In

Press Release:

Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 23, July, 2012 – The Arnold P. Gold Foundation ( is developing a first of its kind institute for research on humanism in medicine. Concerned that implementing the Affordable Care Act could divert attention away from key elements of the doctor-patient relationship, this new institute is designed to facilitate and disseminate research to better define the role of compassion, altruism, and respect in the delivery of high quality health care. Currently in development, the institute is seeking financial support, including a naming opportunity.

The institute will provide a source of funding and technical assistance for investigators interested in expanding our understanding of how humanistic care contributes to patient outcomes.  Special emphasis will be placed on the development of validated measurement tools for evaluating the personal care provided by individuals and teams of healthcare professionals.  The institute will also assemble relevant research results from elsewhere and will serve as a central resource for updated information about humanism in medicine for the public, journalists, and policymakers.


“Substantiating the impact of compassion, empathy, good communication, and cultural awareness on
the outcomes of care is critically important as we embark on fundamental reforms of our healthcare system.  We must not lose sight of these invaluable aspects of high quality care as we explore more efficient and less costly models of healthcare delivery,” said Gold Foundation Board Chair, Jordan J. Cohen MD, immediate past President of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

“Now, more than ever, evidence of the impact of humanistic, relationship-centered methods and models of healthcare must inform how we practice and educate the next generation of health professionals,” said
Elizabeth Gaufberg, MD, MPH, Gold Foundation Professor and an Associate Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance. Dr. Gaufberg will serve as the  institute’s founding director.

About the Arnold P. Gold Foundation: The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, established in 1988, is a public not-for- profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare by enhancing the doctor-patient relationship. It encourages the development of physicians who combine the high tech skills of cutting-edge medical science with the high touch skills of communication, empathy and compassion. Learn more at


  1. Barbara,
    Thank you for helping us the word out about our new institute for research on humanism in medicine. We believe that this institute will help disseminate the scientific evidence that proves that humanistic care is vital to better health outcomes.

    One point of clarification: We have two programs which recognize physicians in different ways. While they both uphold exemplary doctors, physicians who receive Gold DOC recognition are identified by grateful patients. Any patient can visit our website and submit a request to recognize their Gold DOC, who will then receive a plaque and "Humanism in Medicine" lapel pin, free of charge to both patient and physician. We will also post the doctor's name to the Gold DOC page on our website. We encourage all patients who want to thank their doctor for the compassionate care to take advantage of this opportunity. Doctors tell us that recognition by their patients is the most important type of award they receive.

    The other program, for which you posted the criteria in your blog, is the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award. These awardees, who are listed in the directory on our website, are selected by their colleagues as individuals who best demonstrate the Foundation's ideals of outstanding compassion in the delivery of care, respect for patients, their families, and healthcare colleagues, as well as demonstrated clinical excellence.

    We know this can be somewhat confusing and we appreciate the opportunity to clarify the distinction between the two programs.


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