• Editorial
  • Year:2022
  • Volume:3
  • Issue:1

Compassion fatigue in medicine: The result of an inner wear and tear

Jayaram Thimmapuram


Compassion is an inner desire to alleviate the suffering of the other. Almost all of us as health care professionals had this feeling in some corner of our hearts when we chose this profession. It is no doubt a daunting task, but something within us made us feel we can help and make a difference. It is very palpable at the beginning of our careers. As a physician and an academic hospitalist, I observed medical students often having a great rapport with patients and families. Is it their enthusiasm to learn? Is it their ability to spend time with patients? Perhaps it is a combination of the joy of learning coupled with their willing hearts to open up to patients and families. Why does it change later? As we advance in our medical careers, the reality of day-to-day tasks, responsibilities, too many roles to play make a significant impact on us and perhaps slowly exhaust our resources and inner energies. It gradually erodes our interior. This leads to inner wear and tear. Our inner frustrations silently settle within ourselves and unknowingly conceal the very reason why we chose this profession. The reasons could be many, but this is one of the biggest challenges currently faced by health care.