Dissertation Title:

Wounded Patients, Wounded Doctors, Wounded Healers: Healing Our Fragmented Medical System


Duraiyah Thangathurai

Date, Time & Place:

January 18, 2016 at 1:00 pm
Lecture Hall, Lambert Road campus


The purpose of this study is to examine the role of physicians in the process of healing within the context of our current medical system. As an autoethnographic study it explores the healing process from wounds the researcher experienced as a physician, teacher, student, and at times a sick patient. This study reflects on the experiences, insights, and observations that have molded the researcher’s spirit toward that of a healer not only of patients but also of the fragmented medical system. This study explores the early childhood experiences and wounds that were instrumental in the researcher’s initial pursuit of a medical career. In addition, this study explores how the researcher’s journey of over 40 years, dedicated to practicing high tech, high risk, intensive care medicine of critically ill patients has deeply shaped the researcher’s persona as a healer. Since the time of the researcher’s initial specialization in medicine, other areas of medicine as well as other disciplines relating to the humanities have been explored. This study incorporates the lessons, knowledge, experiences, and perspectives from those disciplines and thereby expands the scope of this research study. The autoethnographic approach is appropriate for gaining a greater understanding of self, others, and the culture. The essence of healing necessitates the integration of mind, body, spirit, and consciousness, which encompass multiple therapeutic approaches. In summary, the healing process incorporates aspects of both art and science that optimally benefit not only the patient, doctor, and healer, but also the medical system.



This is due to Pacifica’s conditional use permit, which restricts campus parking. Please call 896-1887 or 896-1888 for a shuttle pickup from the Best Western. A Pacifica shuttle driver will pick you up within 10 minutes or so and take you to the campus.

Thank you for your kind consideration

  • Program/Track/Year: Depth Psychology, Track J, 2006
  • Chair: Dr. Kesstan Blandin
  • Reader: Dr. Marcia DeVeaux
  • External Reader: Dr. Jack Mayhall
  • Keywords: