Practising engagement: Infusing communication with empathy and compassion in medical students’ clinical encounters

Warmington, S. (2012). Practising engagement: Infusing communication with empathy and compassion in medical students’ clinical encounters. Health (London) May 2012 vol. 16 no. 3 327-342

Abstract: Patients commonly experience some physicians’ ways of interacting with them as detached and indicating a lack of concern for their welfare. This is likely to add to the distress experienced by a person seeking healing, as well as interfering with the exchange of information required for good medical care. Despite contemporary medical schools’ focus on clinical communication, and on training for ‘patient-centred’ practice, problems with the relations between doctors and patients are still widely acknowledged. The importance of demonstrating empathy, compassion and caring has been highlighted in the literature. In this article I draw on a clinical narrative to elucidate my interpretation of engagement, which entails practices of attentiveness, respectful dialogue and commitment. I propose that practising engagement may help medical students and doctors to infuse their clinical encounters with empathy and compassion, with the aim of providing care that is experienced as being more humane. This practice has the potential to contribute to innovative pedagogical approaches to clinical communication.

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(Something interesting I found)Posted:May 01 2012, 12:00 AM by brendah
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