Empathy and Burnout in Medicine: Acknowledging Risks and Opportunities

Please read the short commentary by Rajvinder Samra in which she raises critical questions about the potential conflict between providing engaged and empathic patient-centered care, and combating burnout, particularly in the form of emotional fatigue. As you read, think about how it might be challenging to be empathically engaged and at the same time resilient against the emotional burdents that this might open up. Is it possible to be both empathic and resilient in this way? Do the concepts from previously modules (e.g. the difference between empathy and sympathy) offer a starting place for how to think about this dilemma?