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Improving Physician Empathy: Techniques and Training Resources

October 2, 2018

Although clinical experience develops many skills, physicians benefit from external input for improving communication skills.1,2 Physicians can use the following techniques and training resources to improve their communication with patients and demonstrate empathy.

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Filed under: Patient Communication, Patient Relationship, Physician, Best Practices

Empathy Benefits Both Physicians and Patients: Case Studies and Best Practices

October 2, 2018

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” (Maya Angelou)

Defining empathy can be complicated. In medicine, it is thought of as a communication competence, but it also describes the experience between physician and patient, during which the physician becomes attuned to the patient to understand what the patient is feeling. Patients also use empathy to describe a physician’s ability to understand their feelings and opinions and express compassion and concern for their well-being.1 Although physician empathy may seem to be a low priority in comparison to technical acumen, research indicates that physician empathy has wide-ranging benefits for both physicians and patients.

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Filed under: Patient Communication, Patient Relationship, Physician, Article

Case Studies: Physician Empathy Can Decrease Liability Risk

October 2, 2018

Although physician empathy may seem to be a low priority in comparison to clinical skill, research indicates that physician empathy has wide-ranging effects for both physicians and patients, including better patient outcomes, greater patient satisfaction, less stress and burnout, and — as the following case studies show — it can affect whether a patient files a medical liability lawsuit.

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Filed under: Patient Communication, Patient Relationship, Physician, Case Study

Medical Ethics and Physician-Patient Encounters: Case Studies and Best Practices

July 5, 2017

A comatose, ventilator-dependent, car accident victim lies in an intensive care unit while her husband and her parents discuss her future quality of life and argue about what type of care she would have wanted. This scenario may initially come to mind when the average person hears the term medical ethics. However, the concept of medical ethics is much more common in everyday practice than a dramatic ICU clash is.

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Filed under: Medical Ethics, Patient Relationship, Physician, Article

Ethical Dilemmas With Disclosing Medical Errors

July 5, 2017

In the U.S., there is broad ethical consensus supporting disclosure of known medical errors, but even so, the physician who must acknowledge a mistake faces a daunting situation. Disclosing medical errors is the theme of this physician-patient interaction resulting in a medical liability lawsuit.

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Filed under: Medical Ethics, Patient Relationship, Unanticipated Outcomes, Medical Errors & Apology, Physician, Case Study, Ophthalmology
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