The Role of Empathy in Medicine: A Medical Student's Perspective

Read the article by Elliot Hirsch as he describes not only the important difference between sympathy and empathy, but also his own process of coming to appreciate the role of empathy in healthcare. As you read, think about your own goals as a health care provider be it in the realm of medicine, nursing, or another allied health profession. How might empathy be critical to your own practice? Do you encounter skepticism about empathy in patient care (either your own or that of your peers)? How might you respond to such critics?