Allen Curreri's Blog
We tend to envision the dramatic parts of a firefighter’s job: rescuing a child from a blaze, or enabling the safe evacuation of a collapsing building. In the face of that drama, though, we often forget that first responders encounter potentially traumatizing situations with far greater frequency than ordinary civilians. According to a study conducted in 2016, the prevalence of PTSD among emergency service workers is estimated at 17%-22%; this number stands starkly against the expected lifetime prevalence of 1%-7% within the general population.
Can human empathy exist without a human? In the medical field, innovators are determined to find out. Within the last few months, a new mental health app has entered into the medical self-help arena to support those suffering from common mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Sometimes, the most important cues in a patient’s case are the ones that are never said – a too-long silence before an answer, or perhaps an assumption gone uncorrected. But for doctors focused on helping as many patients as possible before the close of the day, firing off a volley of diagnostic questions during appointments and drawing conclusions from verbalized answers seems the only way to carry a heavy workload. Their busy schedules do not allow them to pick at the meaning behind a patient’s posture or verbiage; all they can do is provide an encouraging word and snippets of friendly conversation amidst professional discussions of symptoms and diagnoses.