Being present is essential to the well-being of both patients and caregivers, and it is fundamental to establishing trust in all human interactions. In a world where we are hyper-linked by technology, we are increasingly separated by a lack of human connection. Even as technology is critical to quality and safety in the delivery of care, it inadvertently creates barriers between the patient and the health care team.
Presence champions the human experience in medicine. We believe that being present is integral to the art and the science of medicine and predicates the quality of medical care. By engaging colleagues in every university discipline from comparative literature to environmental engineering, our goal is to foster research, dialogue, and collaboration between Stanford’s seven schools with a goal to produce measurable and meaningful change in the living laboratory of our hospitals and clinics. The experience of suffering and the care of those who are suffering are the most poignant of human experiences. We believe both of these can be better addressed in society and in our health care systems.