"Leading with the Heart: Promoting Solidarity in Medicine through Reflection"

Leading with the Heart: Promoting Solidarity in Medicine through Reflection

Joseph Wolf '17

Preprofessional Studies and Theology Majors, CST Minor

Advisor: Professor Todd Whitmore


Wolf Headshot

Pope Benedict XVI, in his encyclical Caritas in Veritate, stated that “a new trajectory of thinking is needed in order to arrive at a better understanding of the implications of our being one family” (P 53).  This call for deeper reflection is especially relevant in a medical field where incoming physicians are not taught how to perform their work compassionately and doctor-centered interaction is often the standard model of care.  The Solidarity Reflection for Physicians is a response to the “duty of solidarity” expressed in Catholic Social Tradition which applies to all people, even those in medical professions (SRS, P 9). 

As a future doctor, I wrote the reflection to be a potential tool meant to help facilitate in physicians and other medical professionals the loving encounter with God in others which is the foundation of solidarity. The accompanying background paper explains the reflection’s basis in CST, its function, and its usefulness for physicians today.  Ultimately, by calling to mind the presence of God in all people, the solidarity reflection should help physicians hear and respond to God’s call to alleviate the suffering around them – both in their patients and in their community at large.