Doc Talk #175 – Empathy in Healthcare

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In this show we talk about the critical importance of empathy in healthcare.

It is more important to know what sort of a person has a disease, than to know what sort of disease a person has


There is evidence that doctors who have more empathy are more effective in their work. Dr Dan and Jamieson discussed empathy in medical training, the use of jargon and the challenges that can be faced by healthcare providers in remaining empathic. Empathy is very much part of the art of medicine.

Empathy is feeling with people

Brené Brown

It’s really hard to imagine what being a patient is like unless you are a patient.

Many complaints and issues arise because healthcare providers are not adequately empathic or there are perceptions that they do not communicate empathetically. We discussed the critical importance of making sure that healthcare providers look after themselves, are adequately rested and that we put systems into place to support healthcare providers, so that they can deliver the best possible care to patients and their families.

Image by Robert Lawton [CC BY-SA 2.5 (

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