Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Will doctors be more empathetic in the future? - CNN.com

A doctor's training hasn't historically focused on sensitivity. And too often, while juggling heavy workloads and high stress, they can be viewed as brusque, condescending or inconsiderate. 

2011 study, for instance, found barely more than half of recently hospitalized patients said they experienced compassion when getting health care, despite widespread agreement among doctors and patients that kindness is valuable and important. 

    But payment initiatives and increasing patient expectations are slowly forcing changes, encouraging doctors to be better listeners and more sensitive to patients' needs. 

    "We train people to ask the question, 'What's the matter?' We train toward diagnosis," said Martha Hayward, who leads public and patient engagement efforts at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit. "We don't train toward lifestyle understanding."

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