Despite years of scientific training, emotions often play a role in how physicians make clinical decisions. Physician and author Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD, an expert who has studied the relationship between emotions and the delivery of medical care, discussed this topic at the Second Annual Berkowitz Lecture sponsored by the Cooper Foundation on April 9, 2014, at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. The program was open to Cooper physicians, fellows, residents, medical students and the public.
“Doctors are not nearly as rational and evidence-based as we tell ourselves that we are,” according to Dr. Ofri, author of What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine. “Emotions permeate our clinical decision-making, whether we choose to acknowledge this or not.”
The Berkowitz Lecture series is made possible by a generous gift from The Berkowitz Family Foundation to the Cooper Foundation to sponsor annual educational programs for physicians and students on a variety of medical ethics featuring world-renowned experts in the field.
“The Berkowitz Family Foundation is pleased to sponsor an annual lecture on patient care at Cooper Hospital. This is a great institution and a new medical school that deserves our support. The purpose is to sensitize the doctors, the nurses, and the medical students on caring for patients,” said Edwin Berkowitz, the successful Pennsylvania businessman and philanthropist whose foundation provided the grant.
About Dr. Ofri Dr. Ofri is an Associate Professor of Medicine at New York University School of Medicine but her clinical home is at Bellevue Hospital, the oldest public hospital in the country. She is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Bellevue Literary Review. She is the author of three other books about life in medicine – Medicine in Translation: Journeys with My Patients; Incidental Findings: Lessons from My Patients in the Art of Medicine; and Singular Intimacies: Becoming a Doctor at Bellevue. She was also editor of a medical textbook—The Bellevue Guide to Outpatient Medicine—which won a Best Medical Textbook award. Dr. Ofri writes regularly for the New York Times about medicine and the doctor-patient relationship. Her essays also appear in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, and on CNN.com and National Public Radio.