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Culture of Empathy Builder:  Danielle Ofri

 

 Danielle Ofri and Edwin Rutsch: How to Transform Medicine with Empathy and Stories

Danielle Ofri, MD is an essayist, editor, and practicing internist in New York City. She is an attending physician at Bellevue Hospital, and Associate Professor of Medicine at New York University School of Medicine. Danielle is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Bellevue Literary Review, the first literary journal to arise from a medical setting.

Danielle's newest book - What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine – explores the hidden emotional world of the doctor, and how this impacts the medical care that patients receive every day. She writes, "It’s no wonder that the third year of medical school figures prominently in studies that document decline of empathy and moral reasoning in medical trainees... the erosion of empathy, for example, may have long-reaching consequences. Patients of doctors who score lower on tests that measure empathy appear to have worse clinical outcomes. Diabetic patients, for instance, have worse control of their blood sugar and cholesterol. Cancer patients seem to experience more depression. Medication compliance diminishes. Even the common cold can last longer." Sub Conference: Health Care and Arts

 

 

 

Danielle Ofri and Edwin Rutsch: How to Transform Medicine with Empathy and Stories

 

 

 

Transcripts

(Video Transcriptions: If you would like to take empathic action and create a transcription of this video, check the volunteers page.  The transcriptions will make it easier for other viewers to quickly see the content of this video.)

 

 


2013
-06-04 - The Darkest Year of Medical School
Students come in altruistic and empathetic. They leave jaded and bitter.

"However, there is a darker side of this transition to clinical medicine. Many of the qualities that students entered medical school with—altruism, empathy, generosity of spirit, love of learning, high ethical standards—are eroded by the end of medical training. Newly minted doctors can begin their careers jaded, self-doubting, even embittered (not to mention six figures in debt ... It’s no wonder that the third year of medical school figures prominently in studies that document      the decline of empathy and moral reasoning in medical trainees... the erosion of empathy, for example, may have long-reaching consequences. Patients of doctors who score lower on tests that measure empathy appear to have worse clinical outcomes. Diabetic patients, for instance, have worse control of their blood sugar and cholesterol. Cancer patients seem to experience more depression. Medication compliance diminishes. Even the common cold can last longer. "


 

What Doctors Feel: Emotions in Medicine
 "Though they may feel pressure to be detached and emotionless, doctors' medical practices are often influenced by their feelings. From empathy to shame, John Munson's guest this hour helps us understand what doctors feel. 
Guest: Danielle Ofri (OH-free), MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at New York University School of Medicine; cares for patients at New York's Bellevue Hospital; author of, "What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine"


2013-06-07 - Can We Let Doctors Be Human  - By Riva Greenberg

"In internist's Danielle Ofri's latest book, What Doctor's Feel, she explores the emotions doctors shoulder -- from feeling an exaggerated sense of responsibility for their patients wellbeing to the shame of medical errors, to how empathy is being trained out of medical students...

Riva Greenberg: As you wrote about in What Doctor's Feel, why do medical students lose empathy during their training?
Danielle Ofri: I think it's not about who we select to become doctors. Medical students come in with all the right traits. They're eager, caring, desperate to help, but then too often come out of medical school jaded. Oddly, their empathy seems to erode just as they're starting to work with patients in their third year. Empathy doesn't solve medical problems, but you can't solve them without it.

RG: Why do they lose empathy?"
 

 2013-07-02 - The Epidemic of Disillusioned Doctors
"We all know medicine has become a frustrating profession. But surveys show that a younger generation of doctors are more resilient to burnout...
It’s much harder for disillusioned doctors to muster empathy for their patients. This too is a danger. Patients of doctors who score lower on the empathy scale have worse clinical outcomes."

2013-06-09 - The darkest year of medical school
"Students arrive altruistic and empathetic. They often leave jaded and bitter
However, there is a darker side of this transition to clinical medicine. Many of the qualities that students entered medical school with -- altruism, empathy, generosity of spirit, love of learning, high ethical standards -- are eroded by the end of medical training. Newly minted doctors can begin their careers jaded, self-doubting, even embittered (not to mention six figures in debt)...

Much of what they learned about doctor-patient communication, bedside manner and empathy turns out to be mere lip service when it comes to the actualities of patient care.

It's no wonder that the third year of medical school figures prominently in studies that document the decline of empathy and moral reasoning in medical trainees."

 

 

 

Developing empathy: Danielle Ofri (What Doctors Feel)

Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD is an associate professor of medicine at New York University School of Medicine and has cared for patients at Bellevue Hospital for over two decades. She is the author of What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine, Singular Intimacies: Becoming a Doctor at Bellevue, Incidental Findings: Lessons from my Patients in the Art of Medicine, and her latest book, Medicine in Translation: Journeys With My Patients. Ofri is a regular contributor to the New York Times' Well blog as well as the New York Times' "Science Times" section.

 



How to Help Medical Students Keep their Empathy (Danielle Ofri)