Mass. General Hospital teaches doctors empathy

according to Dr. Helen Riess, a psychiatrist who directs the hospital’s Empathy and Relational Science Program. “Empathy training enhances relationships, increases job satisfaction and improves patient outcomes,” says Riess. And with 60 percent more doctors than a decade ago reporting burnout, today’s physicians and patients have more than ever to gain from the program.

Riess’s curiosity about empathy in medicine began 10 years ago, when she noticed a trend among her own patients: Many were upset over encounters with doctors. There was, for example, the overweight woman proud of her effort in losing 15 pounds.

Bella English