What is clinical empathy?
- Dr. Jodi Halpern MD, PhD
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Patients seek empathy from their physicians. Medical educators increasingly recognize this need. Yet in seeking to make empathy a reliable professional skill, doctors change the meaning of the term. Outside the field of medicine, empathy is a mode of understanding that specifically involves emotional resonance. In contrast, leading physician educators define empathy as a form of detached cognition. In contrast, this article argues that physicians’ emotional attunement greatly serves the cognitive goal of understanding patients’ emotions. This has important implications for teaching empathy.
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- What is clinical empathy?
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Volume 18, Issue 8 , pp 670-674
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- 1. Division of Health and Medical Sciences, University of California-Berkeley, 570 University Hall #1190, 94720-1190, Berkeley, CA