5 Ways to Fill the Clinical Empathy Gap

Empathy, compassion, and patience seem to be in short supply in the examining room, the classroom, and the operating room. Patients increasingly are feeling like their doctors simply don’t care and students and trainees feel that the culture of medical education is abusive and counterproductive. What’s more, many think it is the reason why unprofessional and disruptive behavior is perpetuated when graduates start practicing. 


Filling the “empathy gap” in medicine will require a multipronged approach.

1. Do a better job of recruiting for empathy….

2. Change how we think about the “triple threat….

3. Recognize that narcissists come with baggage….

4. Teach and train medical professionals to be more empathic….

5. Rethink how to deal with “the dark underbelly of medicine…


Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA