Published on: February 15, 2022

GPEC (Global Palliative Care Education Initiative) at UCSF (University of California, San Francisco, department of palliative medicine) and Pallium India have been engaging with each other for a couple of years now. On 13 February 2022, they screened the Hippocratic at their institute as a way of introducing their faculty and trainees to global health and suffering. 

During the active discussion that followed the screening, attendees asked many questions. The following was a significant question:

“In the face of such severe suffering, how do palliative care workers continue to work without getting depressed?”

This question makes us think of the suffering that we, the palliative care workers in India, see every day that is unbelievably cruel. Why are we not getting depressed? Why are we not burned out? I think the answer is that the amount of satisfaction that we get from our work is really proportional to the depth of the suffering. Words cannot describe the happiness that a palliative care worker feels when somebody who is begging to be euthanized today, sits up day after tomorrow, smiles and starts enjoying breakfast.

Thank you Dr. Marcia Glass and colleagues for your compassion that makes you reach out beyond your national borders to wherever suffering is.

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