Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School conducted research on 18 physicians that showed doctors could relate to the pain the patients go through and want to make it better. By tracking the brain activity of the physicians through a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scanner, the researchers concluded that when the physicians thought that they administered pain, the areas of the brain that showed empathy were active. In addition, when the physicians thought that they administered relief, it was concluded that areas of the brain that showed reward were active.
The study shows that possibly the doctors who feel the pain themselves and believe it can be overcome are the ones who perform the best treatments. This can give a new meaning to the phrase “physician, heal thyself.”