Today in The Healer's Art (an elective I am taking), our facilitator gave us each a "feely heart". A "feely heart" is a small stuffed heart that was originally intended for kids who were dealing with the loss of a parent. The feely heart, which is small enough to carry around in your pocket at all times, was meant so that these children could just hold it in their hands and remember their lost parent whenever they felt the need to.
A slightly different way to use the "feely heart" as a physician (or physician in training), is to carry it around in your pocket as a constant reminder for us to keep our hearts open to our patients. It is a great memento to help us reflect on why we are doing what we are doing, and that to really take the best care of our patients, we must listen to their stories, forming rewarding connections that make our work worthwhile.