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Doctor Describes the Healing Power of Hope

When Jerome Groopman diagnosed patients with serious diseases, the Harvard Medical School professor discovered that all of them were "looking for a sense of genuine hope—and indeed, that hope was as important to them as anything he might prescribe as a physician."

After writing a book called The Anatomy of Hope, Groopman was asked for his definition. He replied: "Basically, I think hope is the ability to see a path to the future…. You are facing dire circumstances, and you need to know everything that's blocking or threatening you. And then you see a path, or a potential path, to get to where you want to be. Once you see that, there's a tremendous emotional uplift that occurs…."

The doctor confessed: "I think hope has been, is, and always will be the heart of medicine and healing. We could not live without hope." Even with all the medical technology available to us now, "we still come back to this profound human need to believe that there is a possibility to reach a future that is better than the one in the present."

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