Moving Us Closer To Osler
A Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence Initiative

Giving Humanistic and Empathetic Care


Dr. Michele Manahan's Clinical Mission & Values Statement on supporting her patients through conversation, active listening, a receptive ear, and an incisive mind.

Heal the body and protect the mind

My clinical mission is to strive to continuously deliver medically flawless and technically perfect wholly humanistic and empathetic care to heal the body and protect the mind of any patient in need.


I believe a clinical mission is essential to the pursuance of excellence in clinical care, and my daily duty can be nothing but the above. Realistically, I understand perfection is pure myth, but tacit, passive acceptance of this truth predisposes to relaxation of the relentless pursuit of the obliteration of illness.


Minimize the power differential

Of great import to me as a physician is the trust each individual patient imparts. Every encounter by its very nature embodies an extreme power differential. An ill individual is forced to rely upon a heretofore stranger for protection, support, and treatment. Fear, uncertainty, and discomfort war with optimism for relief and cure. As the physician, I must always minimize the magnitude of the differential through provision of healing care, recognition of the emotional trauma of sickness, and benevolent tolerance. My goal is to unfailingly provide the experience I might hope for when my family or I fall ill.



A receptive ear and an incisive mind

Each day patients enter our doors from near and far, from prestigious and humble origins, from experienced and naïve backgrounds, united in illness and need. Sometimes the illness and need is great. Sometimes, thankfully, it is not, but to each patient, the need is primary and overwhelming. From minor ills onward, I hope to non-judgmentally provide a receptive ear, a comforting touch, an incisive mind, and healing action. We benefit at our institution from a vast wealth of resources of expertise in our colleagues. I work to provide a seamless plan of care woven between specialties with minimal encumbrance to the patient.


As we know, even the smallest hurdle can seem insurmountable when feeling ill. Extra energy is not always available for self-advocacy as a patient. I envision an optimal clinical environment in which each patient is treated as a Very Important Person with all members of the staff working in unison toward easy access to boutique care uniquely designed and readily available to all.



Conversation and active listening

To facilitate this, I believe in shared responsibility among members of the care team. Working to help solve issues outside of our specific roles can ease the patients’ burdens. Additionally, I support conversation over lecturing and active listening over dictation in the physician-patient interaction. I strive to understand not just the signs and symptoms of illness, but also the social and environmental determinants of my patient’s goals and desires. This may better allow me to tailor my care for individual patient concerns.


I hope to personify in my clinical role a beam upon which our great Johns Hopkins dome is built. 


My role is nothing by itself, but in partnership with the other beams, struts, brick, and mortar of my colleagues, I help to create a unified artwork, a shrine to healing, stunning in its intricacy and quality.