Saturday, August 10, 2013

Case Western Researcher Discovers Why Doctors Often Fail to Be Empathetic


My opinion: I'm not that surprised about this discovery - usually, when humans focus on one thing, it is difficult to focus on something else.  But now that this professor has scientific evidence that analysis and empathy are separate thought processes in the human mind, it may be easier to develop solutions to this problem.  Though doctors might want to be analytic and empathetic at the same time for social purposes, he or she can divide the patient's appointment into two parts.  The first part may be where the doctor inquires about the problem and devotes attention to the patient's story.  This way, the session is more social in nature and it may become easier to empathize with the patient.  When the discussion is over, then the doctor can more closely analyze the patient's condition and search for solutions.  Though I think it might be better to empathize and analyze simultaneously, it might actually be easier to do this, instead.  Any other solutions?  Feel free to comment.

Why it's so difficult for physicians to be empathetic and analytic at the same time
Publish date: JUL 31, 2013

For years, physicians have been urged to show more empathy during patient encounters, but most doctors would tell you it isn't quite that simple.
For physicians who struggle to balance empathy with analytic thinking during patient visits, neuroscience researcher and brain-imaging expert Anthony Jack, PhD, has a somewhat comforting explanation: It's not your fault, it's your brain's.
Jack, who leads Case Western Reserve University's Brain, Mind and Consciousness lab, has employed brain-scanning technology to discover that, the more active the region of the brain responsible for analytic thinking is, the less active the region governing empathy becomes. In other words, the brain's analytic and empathetic systems operate in constant tension with one another.

- See more at: http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/why-its-so-difficult-physicians-be-empathetic-and-analytic-same-time?page=0,0#sthash.62qHSVUP.dpuf

Why it's so difficult for physicians to be empathetic and analytic at the same time



Anthony Jack, PhDFor years, physicians have been urged to show more empathy during patient encounters, but most doctors would tell you it isn't quite that simple.
For physicians who struggle to balance empathy with analytic thinking during patient visits, neuroscience researcher and brain-imaging expert Anthony Jack, PhD, has a somewhat comforting explanation: It's not your fault, it's your brain's.
Jack, who leads Case Western Reserve University's Brain, Mind and Consciousness lab, has employed brain-scanning technology to discover that, the more active the region of the brain responsible for analytic thinking is, the less active the region governing empathy becomes. In other words, the brain's analytic and empathetic systems operate in constant tension with one another.
- See more at: http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/why-its-so-difficult-physicians-be-empathetic-and-analytic-same-time?page=0,0#sthash.62qHSVUP.dpuf

Why it's so difficult for physicians to be empathetic and analytic at the same time



Anthony Jack, PhDFor years, physicians have been urged to show more empathy during patient encounters, but most doctors would tell you it isn't quite that simple.
For physicians who struggle to balance empathy with analytic thinking during patient visits, neuroscience researcher and brain-imaging expert Anthony Jack, PhD, has a somewhat comforting explanation: It's not your fault, it's your brain's.
Jack, who leads Case Western Reserve University's Brain, Mind and Consciousness lab, has employed brain-scanning technology to discover that, the more active the region of the brain responsible for analytic thinking is, the less active the region governing empathy becomes. In other words, the brain's analytic and empathetic systems operate in constant tension with one another.
- See more at: http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/why-its-so-difficult-physicians-be-empathetic-and-analytic-same-time?page=0,0#sthash.62qHSVUP.dpuf

Why it's so difficult for physicians to be empathetic and analytic at the same time



Anthony Jack, PhDFor years, physicians have been urged to show more empathy during patient encounters, but most doctors would tell you it isn't quite that simple.
For physicians who struggle to balance empathy with analytic thinking during patient visits, neuroscience researcher and brain-imaging expert Anthony Jack, PhD, has a somewhat comforting explanation: It's not your fault, it's your brain's.
Jack, who leads Case Western Reserve University's Brain, Mind and Consciousness lab, has employed brain-scanning technology to discover that, the more active the region of the brain responsible for analytic thinking is, the less active the region governing empathy becomes. In other words, the brain's analytic and empathetic systems operate in constant tension with one another.
- See more at: http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/why-its-so-difficult-physicians-be-empathetic-and-analytic-same-time?page=0,0#sthash.62qHSVUP.dpuf

Why it's so difficult for physicians to be empathetic and analytic at the same time



Anthony Jack, PhDFor years, physicians have been urged to show more empathy during patient encounters, but most doctors would tell you it isn't quite that simple.
For physicians who struggle to balance empathy with analytic thinking during patient visits, neuroscience researcher and brain-imaging expert Anthony Jack, PhD, has a somewhat comforting explanation: It's not your fault, it's your brain's.
Jack, who leads Case Western Reserve University's Brain, Mind and Consciousness lab, has employed brain-scanning technology to discover that, the more active the region of the brain responsible for analytic thinking is, the less active the region governing empathy becomes. In other words, the brain's analytic and empathetic systems operate in constant tension with one another.
- See more at: http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/why-its-so-difficult-physicians-be-empathetic-and-analytic-same-time?page=0,0#sthash.62qHSVUP.dpuf

Why it's so difficult for physicians to be empathetic and analytic at the same time



Anthony Jack, PhDFor years, physicians have been urged to show more empathy during patient encounters, but most doctors would tell you it isn't quite that simple.
For physicians who struggle to balance empathy with analytic thinking during patient visits, neuroscience researcher and brain-imaging expert Anthony Jack, PhD, has a somewhat comforting explanation: It's not your fault, it's your brain's.
Jack, who leads Case Western Reserve University's Brain, Mind and Consciousness lab, has employed brain-scanning technology to discover that, the more active the region of the brain responsible for analytic thinking is, the less active the region governing empathy becomes. In other words, the brain's analytic and empathetic systems operate in constant tension with one another.
- See more at: http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/why-its-so-difficult-physicians-be-empathetic-and-analytic-same-time?page=0,0#sthash.62qHSVUP.dpuf

2 comments:

  1. I don't know if I buy this or not. I have known a fair amount of physicians who were both analytic and empathetic. I have also known a few that were "either" "or". And then there are those that are NEITHER. Analysis is obviously a needed skill, however without empathy, many patients don't have faith in the doctor anyway.

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  2. A physician can be generally empathetic, but during the pockets of time that the physician needs to analyze the situation the empathy goes a little on the back burner. The art is to combine the pockets of time of empathy and analysis so the patient does receive the empathy they need and deserve and the right treatment that they need and deserve.

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