Doctors Can Learn Empathy Through a Computer-Based Tutorial

In a study appearing November 1, 2011, in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the research team found that the course resulted in more empathic responses from oncologists, and patients reported greater trust in their doctors — a key component of care that enhances quality of life.


“Earlier studies have shown that oncologists respond to patient distress with empathy only about a quarter of the time,” said James A. Tulsky, MD, director of the Duke Center for Palliative Care and lead author of the study.