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February 7, 2013
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UofL School of Medicine takes a stand for Solidarity Day

UofL Gold Humanism Honor Society participates in Solidarity Day

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 7, 2013) – Valentine’s Day, the traditional day to celebrate love, also is now a day to celebrate that closely related emotion, compassion.

On Feb. 14, the University of Louisville School of Medicine will join nearly 60 medical schools and institutions across North America, taking a stand for compassion in medicine by observing the third annual Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care.

The GHHS will promote Solidarity Day by encouraging medical students to take at least five minutes during the day to show compassionate patient care – by getting to know their patients better, assisting support staff in the clinic or hospital, engaging in conversations with others or performing random acts of kindness.

“A concerted effort, like Solidarity Day, helps teach our students how to bridge the gap between what we aspire to do for our patients as providers and what ends up transpiring in each patient encounter,” said Pradip D. Patel, M.D., adviser to the UofL chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

GHHS Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care was initiated after the 2011 shootings in Tucson, Ariz., to honor Randall Friese, M.D., the trauma surgeon who first treated shooting victim Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Friese said that the most important thing he did for Giffords was to take her hand in the emergency room and tell her that she would be cared for.

To honor that spirit of caring, the Gold Humanism Honor Society of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation created GHHS Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care, when medical schools and health care institutions across North America create and undertake projects demonstrating the importance of empathy and compassion in patient care.

At the University of Louisville, students’ experiences and stories from Solidarity Day will be documented in their GHHS newsletter to remind students of the importance of compassion for all. Leading the efforts for Solidarity Day are GHHS student members Caitlin Bowman and Suzanne McGee.

“Solidarity Day will be a tremendous day where all medical students, led by GHHS members, will be able to demonstrate their commitment to compassionate, patient-centered care,” said Cliff Crutcher, senior medical student and public relations officer for UofL GHHS.

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