Empathy is The Best Character Trait in a Physician

Empathy is The Best Character Trait in a Physician

Maintaining a good and positive Physician-Patient relationship is essential for any doctor.  Not only do better Physician-Patient relationships benefit the patient but also the doctor.  Maintain a positive and beneficial relationship with patients enable physicians to provide better care.  Additionally, if there’s a strong relationship between a doctor and a patient, doctors will be able to communicate more with their patients, therefore, providing more treatment options.  Research indicates that the character trait that forms the best Physician-Patient relationship is empathy.  Here’s why empathetic physicians have happier and healthier patients.

 

Why empathetic physicians have healthier patients.

Empathy (\ˈem-pə-thē\): the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner


More Comfortable Patients

Physicians who are more understanding of their patients and their situation are more likely to provide higher levels of comfort.  Doctors who know more about their patients and their pain are much more likely to go out of their way to ensure a comfortable visit or procedure.  Additionally, empathy allows patients to relate to their doctors encouraging patients to talk more about their health and personal life.

More Trust

Trust is unbelievably important in the Physician-Patient relationship.  If a patient doesn’t trust their doctor, they will be apprehensive about allowing them to carry out procedures, treatment, and even diagnosis.  If a patient feels that their doctor is understanding and caring, they will be more likely to trust their doctor and allow them to provide treatment and medical care.

Decreased Anxiety Among Patients

When you are comfortable with someone and feel that they understand you, the level of stress that you experience is greatly reduced.  The same goes for the Physician-Patient relationship.  When a doctor or healthcare professional lacks empathy, white coat syndrome will often set in.  White coat syndrome leads to higher stress levels and hypertension.  Empathy is key in maintaining a stress and anxiety free relationship.

A More Involved Patient

A patient who is comfortable with their doctor is far more likely to be involved in treatment and diagnosis.  When a patient is comfortable talking to their physician, they will be more likely to talk about their health and even talk about possibly embarrassing subjects.  If a physician is able to know more about a patient, they can do more to diagnose and treat them.

Better Outcomes

Going along the lines of a more involved patient, patient involvement enables a physician to provide a higher level of care.  Providing a higher and more targeted level of care will allow for better outcomes including easier procedures and quicker recoveries.

Empathetic Physicians have the happiest and healthiest patients.
Empathetic Physicians have the happiest and healthiest patients.