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A Doctor Who Is A Friend ♦ Internal & Geriatric Medicine

May 13, 2020


How Chabad makes me a better doctor!

Abstract

The Chabad movement is affecting (influencing) and bringing the entire world’s population closer to one another, and closer to the Creator. Each Chabad emissary is dedicated, enthusiastic, proactive, mission driven, and able to communicate and attract every person. Physicians are emissaries of Almighty G-d, Healer of all flesh Who does wonders, to bring healing, and relief from Him to humanity. 


Can physicians learn from the Chabad emissaries? Can physicians apply techniques to be enthusiastic, satisfied, with less burnout, and decrease suicide rate? I believe the answer is a resounding yes! Here’s how:


Methods

Learning Likutei Sichos and Likutei torah - discussing the association between body parts and the various spiritual parallels.

Reading letters written by the Lubavitcher Rebbe to individuals suffering from specific diseases. The letters contain advice and encouragement. 

Reading letters written by the Lubavitcher Rebbe to physicians.

Studying specific articles discussing a physician as an emissary of G-d. 

Videos of people with medical concerns, and physicians having a verbal interaction with the Rebbe. 

Tehillim of the Tosher Rebbe’s commentaries. 

Results 

Summarizing several of the lessons I have learned: 

Equality - every part of creation is important to the Creator and He applies personal Divine Providence to it. Since G-d cared enough to create each thing, He cares about its continuity. 

Humility - each person has power that must be brought from potential to actuality; as well as challenges that needs to be overcome. Humility is felt from myself before another when the person I am facing can use my potential better than I am or even can. Hence, I always feel humble facing another individual because maybe he would have used my potential better than I actually do!

Bitul -self-effacement is to align my will with G-d’s will. The more I learn about G-d’s greatness the more self-effaced I become due to the realization of how great He is, how truly small I am, and yet the opportunity to connect and feel His presence within and around me abounds. The more self-effaced I am, the more G-d’s being is felt within me, the more successful the medical treatment is going to be as He is truly the Healer. 

Putting one’s own preferences aside meant doing things that are not comfortable. (The patient should come first! Doctors need to be reinforced that what they are doing actually has its source in holiness and it is the correct step.) 

Putting oneself aside is about G-d!

Do not be judgemental with others.The relationship between a physician and a patient must be non-judgemental. The person comes with a medical condition and a specific complaint. He asks the doctor for a medicine. The doctor’s job is to bring the cure from Almighty G-d to the patient. The doctor can obviously teach about proper way of life, healthy behaviors and risky ones, but not in a judgmental way. (I can tell that most doctors are judgmental and it takes a long time to change this behavior). 

Positivity - Think good it will be good. 

Trust in G-d. 

Both physician and patient need to trust in G-d, the Healer of all flesh. The more the doctor trust in G-d the better doctor he is and the more successful he will be in his medical treatment. The more the doctor influences his patient positively by encouraging them and giving them positivity the more successful he is going to be in his medical treatments. 

Preventive medicine

Increasing spirituality over physicality, mind over matter. Doctors need to focus on the person and his personality, and not to focus on the disease. I.e. look at the subjective experience of the person with the disease and understand it. Don’t try to change the person to “fit” and adjust themselves to the disease.

Elevating the person by telling them how many people are trying to find a cure for their disease, how much research is going on, how much money companies invest in research and tell them how important they are and encourage them to get better. And don’t put the person down and the disease up by trying to break the person’s spirit and try to change them till they “get it that they have a bad disease”. The physician's role is to elevate the patient out of their miserable condition and to bring light and hope into their lives.  Meaning to prioritize spirituality and minimize physicality. (This is similar to the conflict in this world where spirituality is minimized and physicality is prioritized.)

Conclusion 

Chabad emissaries are ordinary people with a Divine mission. Physicians have a unique and specific job to deliver Healing from G-d to the people. Emphasizing this Divine mission helps empower physicians to improve themselves morally, professionally, and help more people. It requires the physician to assume a proactive approach, what we call, preventive medicine. 


I have changed. I have become a better doctor with better medical outcomes. I am happy and energetic about what I do. I feel honored and I would like to share what I have experienced with others. This approach is not limited to Jewish people and it is not limited to people who consider themselves spiritual or religious. It is open to every human being who feels his/her soul and wants to express it, and connect with it on a deeper level.


And this is the conclusion of this article, that learning and being associated with Chabad teaches a person about equality, humility, dedication, and service in the face of obstacles. And yes, you will be a better doctor. You will be more satisfied just as I am happy with what I do, the patient appreciate the relationship, and the outcome of the treatments is much better. 


This is the bottom line. Both the doctor and the patient want the medical treatment to be successful. If this is the way to achieve better medical treatment, this is what we have to teach all physicians. 


Thank you for reviewing and considering these thoughts.





April 22, 2020


Spiritual meaning of pulmonary disease and suggested spiritual treatment

Composed by Amiel Levin MD

Based on Chabad Chassidus 


The body is divided to spiritual part and physical part, as well as to spiritual organs and physical ones. 

The spiritual organs are the ones above the diaphragm, lungs, heart, brain (hence, men tie a string around the diaphragm area while praying).

The physical organs are below the diaphragm, digestive system, reproductive system.

The heart represents the organ that constantly moves (contract) while other organs function by staying still. Hence, it produces heat, from muscle contraction, and the heat is dissipated and cooled off by the lungs. Healthy body represents balance between the heat of the heart and the cooling of the lungs. 

Improper balance manifests as “disease” and in the case of pulmonary disease, it is the improper cooling of the heart. It leads to extra  heat, fever, and congestion. 

In spiritual terms, G-d created two “movements” or emotions - one that goes from below to above - where a physical being wants to get close to spirituality and aspire to adhere to G-d himself. It is the tendency to separate from the world and in layman’s terms “to be spiritual”. 

The second movement or emotion that comes after the first is “to be grounded in the physical world” and to positively affect it. It is only achieved by a person who realizes that “staying spiritual” is not the purpose. Rather that spirituality needs to penetrate the physical world, through me, through us (the people). Both movements are required:

First, realize there is a creator - and desire to connect with the creator. (to be spiritual)

Second, understand that the ultimate purpose is to transform the physical world to be spiritual by introducing G-dliness into the world. 

The Lubavitcher Rebbe ZT”L said that when an event occurs we need to search within us for an answer that will explain it.

One possible explanation that makes sense to me is that imbalance between the heart and the lungs, as expressed in the virus, fever, headache, pneumonia is that “we” don’t have the proper balance between the two emotions. The treatment of the virus is therefore a personal evaluation of each person regarding the 2 movements - how much do I spend on “being spiritual” and connecting with G-d and how much do I bring that spirituality to my own life and to my environment. By each person focusing on this concept of increasing spirituality over physicality each person can bring a cure for oneself and a cure to the environment and the whole world. 

This is also the message of Pesach (Passover) that G-d released the Jews out of Egypt. This “release” is a physical and a spiritual one. Until then people couldn’t separate themselves from the physical world - they couldn’t become spiritual. Passover is the point of change. Let’s change!