Why is it difficult for doctors to express empathy to patients?
Doctors are often bombarded with patients and problems that cause them to become emotionally detached caregivers. Ask the Experts William Mobley, MD, PhD, talks in this video about why this happens and how training might make it better.
I think one of the most important ingredients is just the ability to empathize with your patient without becoming emotionally overwhelmed, right?
We are busy, we run around like crazy. Every door we open is a new set of problems.
It can be daunting. It can be emotionally crippling. [LIGHT UPBEAT MUSIC]
So the way a lot of doctors respond, just turn off that part of their soul.
It's just too painful for them. So one thing we really ought to do, one thing would change medicine a lot, would make it as good as it was maybe in 1950,
is to give doctors a chance to listen and respond to the real patient. That would be a huge step forward.
Now, to do that, we don't just need avatars. We need doctors that are trained more effectively
to be able to listen and to feel like somebody feels, but not at the same time, to feel emotionally paralyzed by that.
We don't teach that in medical school. I don't know that we teach it anywhere. But neuroscience is, I think, going
to give us the tools we need to teach us to create a wise empathy. And by wise empathy, I mean just that.
I can feel how you feel. But I am not hijacked by the emotions of that moment.
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