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Table of Contents
ART AND MEDICINE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 126  

Is empathy the best medicine?


Sr. Consultant Cardiologist, Director of HH Publications and Executive Coordinator for Research, Director of Noninvasive Cardiology (1981–2014), Heart Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar

Date of Submission05-Jun-2022
Date of Acceptance06-Jun-2022
Date of Web Publication23-Jul-2022

Correspondence Address:
Rachel Hajar
Sr. Consultant Cardiologist, Director of HH Publications and Executive Coordinatora for Research, Director of Non-invasive Cardiology (1981-2014), Heart Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha
Qatar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/heartviews.heartviews_49_22

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How to cite this article:
Hajar R. Is empathy the best medicine?. Heart Views 2022;23:126

How to cite this URL:
Hajar R. Is empathy the best medicine?. Heart Views [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Aug 16];23:126. Available from: https://www.heartviews.org/text.asp?2022/23/2/126/351869





What is empathy? It is defined as the quality or ability to understand and share the feelings of another. In what way is empathy different from sympathy? Sympathy is feelings of pity or sorrow for someone else's misfortune.

I would rather have a doctor who understand my feelings, rather than a doctor who feels sympathetic that I developed or have a particular ailment. However, a doctor can have both qualities.

The empathetic physician:

  • Understands how a diagnosis affects a patient's mental health and well-being
  • Patients give more detailed histories
  • Patients are more satisfied with their care
  • Patients are more adherent with treatment plans
  • Patients are less likely to sue for malpractice.


In other words, physicians must have good bedside manners. Knowledge and good bedside manners go hand in hand. For what good is one without the other?

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.






 

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