Empathy As An Outcome?

Teenage Girl Visits Doctor's Office Suffering With Depression

A new study showed that “Empathic responses to patients’ expressions of negative emotion were associated with decreases in patient anxiety and higher patient ratings of the hospitalist and encounter.”  Well, there you have it. So, they have proven that empathy is good to have. No kidding. Here is the interesting part. If empathy decreases anxiety (an empathic response was associated with a 1.65 point decrease on the State Anxiety Scale (95% CI, 0.48-2.82) then shouldn’t we be grading doctors on this?  And shouldn’t we be giving bonuses to those that are the most empathetic?  Yes, that sounds ridiculous but this is the type of moronic methodology that administrators love to use.

“Sorry, doctor, the cameras in the room showed you to be to aloof”, says the adminibot.

“But I was trying to click all the buttons you wanted in the chart”, responds the doctor.

“Not good enough.  You need to look empathetic when staring at the computer.  You will lose 2% of your salary this year”.

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