Practicing Medicine Providing Care Empathy in Medicine

Empathy in Medicine

DO Difference

Whole-person, empathic care is the hallmark of osteopathic medicine

From day one of medical school, DOs are trained to treat people, not just their symptoms.

The osteopathic philosophy of medicine centers on building deep relationships with patients and using empathy to build trust. Being empathetic means understanding patients’ experiences, concerns and perspectives, and being able to communicate this understanding to patients.

By taking the time to ask questions about all aspects of patients’ lives, physicians become better equipped to provide the highest standard of care to their patients.

Empathy improves quality of patient care

Their unique approach to patient care is what sets DOs apart. By committing to the osteopathic philosophy of medicine, you can provide a higher level of service to your patients while boosting your job satisfaction.

  • Empathy translates to improved patient comprehension. The better your patients comprehend a diagnosis, the better they will comply with your instructions for care.

  • Your patients could experience better health outcomes since patients who like their physicians are more likely to be compliant with their treatment plan. Diabetic patients with more empathetic physicians, for instance, were significantly more likely to have their illness under control, according to a study published in Academic Medicine.

  • After acceptance of insurance plan, bedside manner/empathy is the top factor adults consider when selecting a physician for themselves or a loved one, according to an American Osteopathic Association survey.
  • It can boost your bottom line. Insurance carriers and employers are increasingly tying physician reimbursement to patient satisfaction scores.
  • You could avoid malpractice lawsuits. Empathetic physicians are less likely to be sued than physicians whose patients are unhappy with their communication style.

Looking to up your empathy game?

These simple strategies can help you develop stronger empathy and better communication with your patients:


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