Purpose of review: The clinician-patient relationship is essential to the practice of person-centered care. This healing relationship can present challenges to clinicians when working with patients who suffer. Clinicians today are looking for ways to deal with the stress of care-giving and to find greater meaning in their professional lives.
Recent findings: Professional guidelines recognize that medicine, nursing and other healthcare professions are vocations, not jobs. Reports indicate that physicians and other clinicians feel the current healthcare environment is too business-like yet, patient relationships continue to be the primary source of satisfaction for many clinicians. The relationships can be rewarding but also stressful. Spirituality is proposed as a way for clinicians to reconnect with their professional roots to serve those who suffer. Resources are suggested that might enable clinicians to find greater meaning in their profession.
Summary: Professional development should address spiritual development especially as it relates to the healthcare professional's sense of calling to their profession, the basis of relationship-centered care, and the provision of compassionate care.