Spirituality in Mrdicine

by Andrew Weil, M.D.

Despite increasing interest in spirituality in medical settings, the physicians who discuss spiritual issues with patients are still more the exception than the rule. The obstacles seem to be lack of time, lack of training (doctors aren't taught how to approach and explore these subjects) and difficulty identifying patients who would welcome questions about their spiritual lives and beliefs. This is a sensitive area for both physicians and patients despite emerging evidence that spirituality can play a powerful role in healing.

If you're having surgery, a doctor's technical skills and solid experience should be more important than his or her personal beliefs. But if you have a serious, chronic illness, or one requiring long-term interactive care, you might want to consider receiving treatment from a physician whose beliefs are congruent with yours.

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