How do doctors and medical students see empathy in clinical practice? Watch

ferrus_manus
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#1
In general, I hear that empathy is getting greater emphasis in teaching to try and improve doctor-patient communications and approach to healthcare.

However, I know that there are other views from psychologists that empathy can be improperly used, from a clinical and general perspective, and can create unfavorable outcomes.

Is there a consensus to this in the current medical teaching system? Is it solely focused on the positive qualities of empathy? Or would/should you argue for both positive and negative aspects if asked?
0
reply
nexttime
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 month ago
#2
(Original post by ferrus_manus)
In general, I hear that empathy is getting greater emphasis in teaching to try and improve doctor-patient communications and approach to healthcare.

However, I know that there are other views from psychologists that empathy can be improperly used, from a clinical and general perspective, and can create unfavorable outcomes.

Is there a consensus to this in the current medical teaching system? Is it solely focused on the positive qualities of empathy? Or would/should you argue for both positive and negative aspects if asked?
I wouldn't say there is consensus at all no. To be honest many doctors don't even really look into it beyond 'try to be nice to your patients'. Arguably sympathy, not empathy of course, but still.

If you have done some research and feel you can state the downsides of empathy without sounding unsympathetic towards patients then go ahead.
0
reply
ferrus_manus
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#3
(Original post by nexttime)
I wouldn't say there is consensus at all no. To be honest many doctors don't even really look into it beyond 'try to be nice to your patients'. Arguably sympathy, not empathy of course, but still.

If you have done some research and feel you can state the downsides of empathy without sounding unsympathetic towards patients then go ahead.
Well, I'm just confused as to how this would be approached in an interview, I've read a few lecture notes from medical students trying to incorporate empathy into C-C models of interview, so there's a strong push towards it. But I'm not sure whether they teach it as using empathy as a style of communication to build rapport, as to empathy as a way to connect with the patient (2nd one seems inappropriate).

Then, there are also concerns from psychologists that empathy can cloud judgement, for example, being asked to put yourself into the shoes of someone who has been rejected an opportunity to be placed on an organ transplant list due to the rules. And also concerns that empathy is terrible in that it magnifies emotion and echoes a patient's potentially undue worries about a situation.
0
reply
nexttime
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 month ago
#4
(Original post by ferrus_manus)
Well, I'm just confused as to how this would be approached in an interview, I've read a few lecture notes from medical students trying to incorporate empathy into C-C models of interview, so there's a strong push towards it. But I'm not sure whether they teach it as using empathy as a style of communication to build rapport, as to empathy as a way to connect with the patient (2nd one seems inappropriate).

Then, there are also concerns from psychologists that empathy can cloud judgement, for example, being asked to put yourself into the shoes of someone who has been rejected an opportunity to be placed on an organ transplant list due to the rules. And also concerns that empathy is terrible in that it magnifies emotion and echoes a patient's potentially undue worries about a situation.
I think you're over-worried here. As long as you emphasise the positives along with some negatives that is fine. You sound well-read - that will come across in interview.

As I said before, there is no 'consensus'on what empathy means or how it is to be used. Different people will teach different things. As long as you don't say 'empathy is useless*' you'll be agreeing with at least someone. Don't worry about this.

*Well tbh even then you would get plenty of senior doctors agreeing with you. Probably shouldn't be said in an interview though
0
reply
Democracy
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 month ago
#5
(Original post by ferrus_manus)
Is there a consensus to this in the current medical teaching system? Is it solely focused on the positive qualities of empathy? Or would/should you argue for both positive and negative aspects if asked?
If there is, I'd imagine you probably know more about it than us. Irl doctors don't tie themselves in knots over defining this stuff or arriving at a consensus over it For an interview, I'd probably outline the positives and negatives (which it sounds like you're doing very well) and conclude that overall empathy is a Good Thing.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • The University of Law
    Solicitor Series: Assessing Trainee Skills – LPC, GDL and MA Law - Guildford campus Postgraduate
    Wed, 29 Jan '20
  • Nottingham Trent University
    Postgraduate Open Day Postgraduate
    Wed, 29 Jan '20
  • University of Groningen
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Fri, 31 Jan '20

Have you ever signed up for an open day and then not gone to it?

Yes (136)
52.11%
No (125)
47.89%

Watched Threads

View All