- PACES station 1 abdomen
- PACES station 1 respiratory
- PACES station 2 history taking skills
- PACES station 3 cardiovascular
- PACES station 3 neurology
- PACES station 4 communication skill and ethics
- PACES station 5 (new station 5)
- PACES station 5 endocrinology
- PACES station 5 Fundus
- PACES station 5 rheumatology
- PACES station 5 skin
- record of PACES experience
Saturday, 28 February 2009
How do we show empathy?
The answer to this lies in learning to distinguish between empathy and sympathy.
So, what's the difference?
Sympathy: the act of imagining and interpreting the thoughts, experiences, and perspectives of others from our own lens (e.g. our history, experiences, priorities and values).
Empathy: the act of attempting to understand the thoughts, experiences, and perspectives of others from their own lens (e.g. their history, experiences, priorities and values).
Although subtle, the difference in effect between empathy and sympathy is significant. Following is an example, which magnifies the point:
A woman in labor tells her husband she is in a terrible amount of pain.
He says, "I know, I strained my back once."(sympathy - using his own limited lens).
A woman in labor tells her husband she is in a terrible amount of pain. He asks her, "Is this the worst pain you've ever felt?" Then he asks her to describe what it feels like, where the pain lies, and if there is anything he can do to help ease the pain.(The key to empathy: There is no "I" in empathy).
The patient experiences being seen:
'That last point made you look worried. Is there something more serious about that point you would like to tell me?'
The patient experiences being heard:
'I notice that you have talked about the death of your mother but could I ask you to tell me something about how your brother died?'
The patient experiences being accepted:
'I can tell you that most people in your circumstances get angry at some point, even with the people who have helped them.'
The clinician shows self-disclosure:
'I'm a bit like you. Whenever I get heartburn I think it's a heart attack.'