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Recruiting The Dalai Lama To Bring Compassion Back Into Medicine

Image of Ralph Snyderman with the Dalai Lama.
Courtesy of Ralph Snyderman
Ralph Snyderman spoke with the Dalai Lama at the leader's residence in India last year.

Ralph Snyderman is known as “The Father of Personalized Medicine.” He used to oversee the selection of medical students at Duke University in his role as chancellor for health affairs at Duke University and Dean of the Duke School of Medicine. He focused on admitting students who showed a clear desire for empathy and to serve the needs of others.

But he realized compassionate care is difficult to achieve in the current health system in the United States because of a variety of factors. Synderman now directs the Duke Center for Personalized Health Care. His mission is to create more personalized and compassionate ways of delivering medicine. Earlier this year he published a conversation he had with the 14th Dalai Lama about how to foster that change. The revelations from that conversation became a manuscript entitled "Compassion and Health Care: A Conversation with the Dalai Lama" recenlty published in the medical journal "Academic Medicine." 

Host Frank Stasio talks to Snyderman about the importance of empathy in medicine, what the Dalai Lama had to say on the subject and what changes he hopes to see in medical care.

Dana is an award-winning producer who began as a personality at Rock 92. Once she started creating content for morning shows, she developed a love for producing. Dana has written and produced for local and syndicated commercial radio for over a decade. WUNC is her debut into public radio and she’s excited to tell deeper, richer stories.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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