The doctor who really feels the pain of patients


Any time he sees someone experience pain, or even just the sense of touch, his brain recreates the sensations in his own body. He step by step discovered several anomalies in his sensitive feelings beginning time when he was a little boy. Synaesthesia is a condition in which one or more of your senses is merged with another rather than experienced separately. Some people perceive taste when they hear music while others experience colours when they look at letters and numbers. Salinas has early memories of the condition such as the bell ringing in blue and yellow at his primary school in Florida. Salinas realised as a teenager that making others feel better made him feel better, due to this shared sensory experience. He decided to pursue a career in medicine.


But it was not easy ! “The mirror-touch pain was most vivid at medical school when I began to see the extremes of physical trauma,” Salinas says. When he watched a teenage boy on an operating table he felt the incision as if it was slicing into his own abdomen. And it was also a terrible day when „Someone had a cardiac arrest and it completely caught me off guard.” And  when the patient was declared dead 30 minutes later „I had this complete absence of physical sensations,” Dr Joel Salinas remembers. “I couldn’t imagine my life without synaesthesia. I wouldn’t be who I am now without it” is his confession. As a doctor, he try to do the best in life.


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