Mastering the art of empathy benefits both doctors and patients

Mastering the art of empathy benefits both doctors and patients

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Empathy is a concept all doctors are familiar with - this intangible skill of taking the patient’s perspective is vital to quality care, but physicians may have difficulty finding a balance between empathy and clinical distance.
17 Dec 2016 - General
In medical school, in fact in the first year or so, there are history taking tutorial sessions for student to learn from. In the beginning few sessions, students are graded on their empathy. This may seem a little rigid, since empathy is not a taught feeling, but something intrinsic to human nature. Some students who failed to show empathy at all were taught to use sentences like 'That must be very difficult for you' or 'I understand where you're coming from'. This may seem a...
 (Total 96 words)
Giving an appropriate expression of empathy is a skill that is developed over time. When I was a medical clerk, I remember some of my classmates would get overly emotional when their patients die, or get fatal complications. This behavior is common among young doctors because they are just humans. But as medical training is advanced, one eventually learns the "balancing act". I may take years of experience to learn this, but once its learned, then it gives benefit for both the doctor a...
 (Total 86 words)