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Culture of Empathy Builder:  Raúl de Velasco
http://j.mp/13nj3SN

Raúl de Velasco M.D. and Edwin Rutsch: How to Build a Culture of Empathy In Medicine




Raúl de Velasco is director of Clinical Ethics at the University of Miami Bioethics Program and Chair of the Baptist Health Bioethics Committee.  He says. "I am a physician who practiced Nephrology for over 30 years and had a very large practice. My full training in medicine was at the University of Miami. Most of my patients were on dialysis and needed kidney transplants, they had a lot of problems, you learn how to detach from their suffering but as I did that almost as a survival mechanism the practice of medicine became less enjoyable more about numbers than of people."

 

Raúl saw the importance of empathy for doctors and has been working to promote empathy in the medical field.  He is also looking at developing a mutual empathic relationship between doctors and patients.  We held two interviews about his studies and work on empathy. In the second interview, Raúl walked thought his Clinical Empathy Slide Show Presentation. The presentation discusses;

1. Psychology of Empathy
2. Objectification and the ‘wiring’
3. Caring in Medicine
4. The Practice of Empathy
5. Problems with Empathy

Sub Conference: Health Care

 

 
 

 

 

 Raul de Velasco & Edwin Rutsch: How to Build a Culture of Empathy in Medicine
 

(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.)

 

 

 

Clinical Empathy Slide Show Presentation - Raúl de Velasco M.D. and Edwin Rutsch

 

In the second interview, Raúl walked thought his Clinical Empathy Slide Show Presentation. The presentation discusses;

  • What Empathy is Not

  • The Word “Empathy"

  • Definition of Empathy

  • Points to Discuss About Empathy

    • 1. Psychology of Empathy

    • 2. Objectification and the ‘wiring’

    • 3. Caring in Medicine

    • 4. The Practice of Empathy

  • Modes of Empathic Development and Arousal

  • Empathic Distress and Altruism

  • Empathy

    • Empathy is part of the human condition, present to a lesser degree in some animals (Frans de Waal)

    • Begins in infancy and is essential for full moral development (Induction)

    • Is the mechanism that glues us together

    • Is present in all of us-- except in psychopaths

    • Occurs automatically—as an involuntary breach of individual separateness but can be affected cognitively.

  • Empathy Research in Neuroscience and “The Shared Neural Network Hypothesis”

  • Empathy with Someone’s Pain Blaming the Other

  • Caring in Medicine

  • Modern Moral Sentimentalism

  • What is Caring in Medicine?

  • What is Clinical Empathy?

  • Enhancing Clinical Empathy - Empathy is innate, but it can be enhanced or diminished.

  • Enhancing Clinical Empathy

    • Listen with interest

    • Show affection

    • Accept and validate the patient

    • Acknowledge the patient

  • Challenges in Clinical Empathy

    • The angry patient

    • Understanding that a patient’s fears and emotions are not ours… but theirs

    • The patient we can’t respect or identify with

    • Too much empathy - over identification

    • Physician burnout

  • Physician’s Empathy and Perception of Pain
     

 

Empathy in Medicine: Good or Bad? Brochure
* Date: November 2nd, 2013
* Location: Golden Tulip Serenada Hotel, Hamra, Beirut

"This activity is the 7th National Conference held by the Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at the American University of Beirut Faculty of Medicine. It aims at bringing physicians, residents, members of the healthcare team, nurses, public health professionals, and psychologists from all over Lebanon together to discuss issues pertaining to medicine in general and the relationship between the healthcare provider and the patient in particular. "

 

 

 

Notes:

I am a physician who practiced Nephrology for over 30 years and had a very large practice. My full training in medicine was at the University of Miami. Most of my patients were on dialysis and needed kidney transplants, they had a lot of problems, you learn how to detach from their suffering but as I did that almost as a survival mechanism the practice of medicine became less enjoyable more about numbers that of people.

The emphasis on patient’s autonomy made that move easier but I realized that something was wrong. I looked for answers in the study of philosophy and ethics. I began to work with Dr. Kenneth Goodman a bioethicist at the medical school and he suggested I should get formal training in philosophy which I did. My breakthrough came when Dr. Slote joined the Faculty in the Philosophy Dpt. and began his journey into Empathy. I was extremely lucky as I was able to witness his incredible knowledge of philosophy and ethics. I finished all the requirements for my Master and I am presently writing my Thesis and talking much longer than I thought as I keep changing its emphasis on different aspects of empathy. Prof. Slote is my mentor. I stopped practicing medicine full time but I am now the Chair of Clinical Ethics of the Baptist Health System a system of 8 hospitals

I have not published but I enclose a presentation I made for the Department of Medicine Medical Grand Rounds at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine where I am Director of Clinical Ethics and Voluntary Associate of Medicine in the Dpt. of Nephrology and article I wrote on John Gregory, arguable the father of modern medical ethics

The Return of Doctor John Gregory
There are two main methods of medical ethics. One is grounded in principles and duties, expressed in the form of a code of medical ethics; the other in the belief that medical ethics is best grounded in the virtues expressed in the character of an empathic physician.

P.S. you might be aware that Michael talks about the warm feeling of empathy we get when we observe an empathic action or behavior. It is interesting that both of you end your e-mails with you ‘warmly’ and Michael with ‘warm regards’.