When I became a doctor, I learned that behind every patient case was a story. When you try to understand, empathise and leave judgement at the door you don’t see the stereotype, you see the person, the human being just like you and how they came to this point in their lives.
When I teach medical students, they are often surprised that the patients they are see don’t match up with their idea of an ‘addict’. They begin to see the individual and the story behind it all. They begin to understand their potential role in facilitating hope and change through empathy and advocacy.