A Doctor You Can Trust: Empathy Continued

By | June 22, 2012

Empathy requires only that you feel about another as you feel about the man in the mirror!?

I would like to say a few more words about the differences between sympathy and empathy and the importance of empathy in the practice of medicine. Sympathy involves the attachment of benevolent feelings toward another human being, in other words liking them. Empathy on the other hand requires only that you think and feel as that other person would think and feel. It requires that you at least temporarily feel about that other person as you would feel about yourself. At the risk of belaboring the point, an empathic relationship does not require that you like the other person, in much the same way that I don’t always like myself. More tomorrow.

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