Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

The Empathy Project #24

A six year waiting list for nurses to volunteer to go to Viet Nam! I love the things you find out just by talking to people. When you start talking and have no idea about a persons background you start to learn all sorts of things. Despite her being a patient of mine, I had no idea that this fascinating woman had been the head nurse at the hospital I now work at. I decided to ask her to participate in my project based purely on the book she was reading when I walked into the room (it was a history book about spies working for George Washington during the Revolutionary War). 

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at

© Howard Grill

© Howard Grill