Letters to the Editor

Mental health: Love really is best medicine

Re: “One doctor’s pain at Western State Hospital,” (TNT op-ed, 4/14).

I have been privileged to work at Western State Hospital for the past 11-plus years, and with Dr. Joseph Wainer as the attending psychiatrist. I admire him; he knows all of his patients quite well because he is often on the ward and not in an office.

He is fearless in the face of patients who are acting out as he works to understand their needs rather than focus on the immediate behavior. He is a great role model. He and I share his perspective that love guides quality care, a conversation we have had many times.

I have been fortunate to work with dedicated staff that view this work as a calling, as do I.

I have supervised students, clinicians working toward licensure, and the psychology department for the civil side of the hospital. I remind my students and supervisees that I cannot teach you to love people, but that is what will determine your success as a clinician. You can learn techniques, but love is what makes the difference in the lives of patients.

Bravo Dr. Wainer for speaking so boldly about the need for love.