Derksen is a Dutch retired Medical Doctor and has a PhD in Empathy in
Patient and Physician communication. In this discussion, Frans shares his
research on the importance and effectiveness of empathy in healthcare. His
conclusion is that specific education about the theory, evidence of
empathy and training of specific empathic skills, should be explicitly
taught to medial students and residence. Edwin talks about the
effectiveness and application of
Empathy Circles as a foundational empathy building practice.
More explicit attention needs to be paid to empathy in
physician training by embedding theoretical education, explicit attention
to skill training and assessment of empathic behavior by patients and
Empathy as a characteristic of patient-physician communication in both
general practice and clinical care is considered to be the backbone of the
patient-physician relationship. Although the value of empathy is seldom
debated, its effectiveness is little discussed in general practice. This
literature review explores the effectiveness of empathy in general
Research has highlighted empathy as an important and effective factor in
patient-physician communication. GPs have extensive practical experience
with empathy. However, little is known about the personal views of GPs
regarding the meaning and application of empathy in daily practice.
Background: Current daily general practice has become increasingly technical
and somatically oriented (where attention to patients' feelings is
decreased) due to an increase in protocol-based guidelines. Priorities in
GP-patient communication have shifted from a focus on listening and empathy
to task-oriented communication.
There is general consensus that explicit expression of empathy in patient-GP
communication is highly valued. Yet, little is known so far about patients'
personal experiences with and expectations of empathy. Insight into these
experiences and expectations can help to achieve more person-centeredness in
GP practice care.
Data recently published in the British Journal of General Practice offered
solutions for general practitioners struggling to find a balance between
“task-oriented communication” with patients and showing empathy and
Empathy is regarded by patients and
general practitioners (GPs) as fundamental in patient–GP communication.
Patients do not always experience empathy and GPs encounter circumstances
which hamper applying it.
Clinical empathy has been described as a key component of effective
person-centeredness in patient-physician communication. Yet little is known
about general practitioner (GP) trainees' experiences and opinions regarding
clinical empathy, empathy-education and the development of empathic skills.
This study aimed to explore trainees' experiences with clinical empathy
during GP training.
Current Dutch textbook for residents about many aspects of