Monday, April 12, 2010

Style in Medicine?


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Style may refer to:

  • Design, the process of creating something
  • Fashion, a prevailing mode of expression, e.g., clothing
  • Style (fiction), an aspect of literary composition
  • Format, various terms that refer to the style of different things
  • Genre, a loose set of criteria for a category or composition
  • Human physical appearance
  • Typeface, style is one of the three traditional design features along with size and weight: either regular, italic or condensed

Style, in specific fields, may also refer to:

  • Style (visual arts), in art and painting style can refer either to the aesthetic values followed in choosing what to paint (and how) or to the physical techniques employed
  • Style (botany), a stalk structure in female flower parts
  • Style (manner of address), titles or honorifics, including Chinese courtesy names

This is the multi-faceted definition of style according to Wikipedia. Where does style fit into medicine? We begin the road of training at various stages, but at some point we are taught about the art of medicine. It is through teachers, parents, friends, and books that we first come to realize and appreciate the complexities of the human body and more importantly the human spirit. Medicine is a unique field that mixes science and standards of practice with ethics, communication, and people skills. We are at the forefront of the extremes of life on a daily basis. One moment we are delivering a new baby and the next we are speaking to a patient about a new diagnosis of cancer, or possibly to a family of a patient that has recently died. This environment calls for stability and strength of character, but it also calls for style. How do you introduce yourself to a patient? How do you dress? What facial expression do you put on? How do you ask the most intimate of questions to someone you just met? How do you handle their trust? How do you interact with your colleagues? How do you take your coffee? How do you manage stress? The answer to all of these is with style (or so we hope).

Style is the format by which you live your life and how you make your decisions. Style in Medicine incorporates your professional persona, how you speak and act, how you embrace each new situation and how you deal with the collision of science, art and the human heart that we deal with every day. What is your style?


  1. Thank u for reminding us that there is a space for creativity in medicine, and beyond the external layers-- were all just humans. Great site.

  2. I think we often focus on the science in medicine (which is important) and forget about the fact that it is an art. We, as healthcare professionals, have a creative capacity to shape the experience of our patients. So shape on... Thanks for the positive feedback :)