Compassionate Doctors are Healers!

Time Healthland.com , suggests that if doctors want to be successful, measured in terms of healthier patients, then they need to empathize more with their patients.

We all know the idiom “You reap what you sow!!” right?   If this is true, then why wouldn’t it pertain to the medical profession as well?  If you are kind to your patients, then they shall be kind to you and perhaps more willing to heed your advice.

According to a new study published in the Journal of Academic Medicine, better bedside manners along with more empathy for a patient’s ailments, led to better doctoring or at least better patient results.

Mohammadreza Hojat and his team of researchers of Jefferson Medical College, studied 891 patients treated for diabetes by 29 different doctors for 3 years.   Doctors were scored based on how much they understood their patient’s perspective and how much that understanding fueled their desire to cure the patient.

Empathetic doctor’s patients were 16% more likely to have control over their blood sugar and 15% more likely to have better cholesterol levels than patients of physicians with the lowest empathy scores.

So the old adage “kill them with kindness” really does work (even on diseases).  What do you think?  Is a physician’s empathy level really helping a patient heal?

Prior research purports that patients of highly empathetic doctors are more likely to follow their treatment plans, which could account for these differences.

2 responses to “Compassionate Doctors are Healers!”

  1. Keith D. says:

    I think that what you point out at the end of this post, that patients of highly empathic doctors are more likely to follow their treatment plans, is probably a big part of these results.

    To put it into another context, when I think of all the bosses that I’ve worked for over the years, the most successful ones were the ones who related best to their employees. The ones who would be just as willing to do what they asked of their employees as they were to ask them always had the greatest support from their employees. The best two bosses I’ve ever had are the two who would’ve done whatever gruntwork they asked of their employees themselves if the employee they asked didn’t want to do it. Nearly all of my coworkers who worked for either of those bosses would have done pretty much anything asked of them by those bosses.

    On the flip side, those bosses who felt they were above doing what they asked of their employees, and tried to get them to do things by threat of force or intimidation or obligation always had the most dissatisfied employees, and the ones who would do anything to get out of doing their work. These bosses were never as successful as the others, and the quality of work done by their employees was always substandard as well.

  2. Keith,

    Your added insight gives a good example of why patients would follow their doctors guidlines.

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