When dealing with patients, the traditional Patient-Doctor relationship model states that the doctor should remain cool, calm and collected at all times.

The doctor’s approach must be strictly scientific, logical, objective, methodical, precise and dispassionate. This has been the model since the times of William Osler, the father of modern medicine. Imperturbability is the term used, which means coolness and presence of mind under all circumstances.

According to Osler, a rare and precious gift to doctor is the right of detachment. This right protects the doctors from powerful emotions that patients display in their presence, such as anger, frustration, grief, and rage. Additionally, it protects patients from the rolling emotions that doctors may feel towards them.

A detached attitude also shields doctors from empathizing with patients. A detached doctor may talk in a language that goes over the patient’s head.

Detachment is not like a light switch being turned on and off to suit the situation. Detachment as a practice cannot be in isolation if it becomes one’s personal style of distracting from the world.

One must  learn to empathize with the patients and yet be detached from its results. Doctors who follow Bhagawad Gita can understand the concept well.