When doctors have compassion fatigue

Groundbreaking study reveals why some doctors stop caring about their patients.



One person watching Tony Fernando’s compassion research with interest is Kiwi anaesthesiologist Robin Youngson, co-founder of Hearts in Healthcare, a group lobbying internationally for health systems to place more emphasis on compassion and “whole patient” care.’


Youngson said research shows doctors who are empathetic and who listen get better results in patients.

A recent study of 20,000 diabetes patients in Italy found those who rated their doctors as empathetic had 40 per cent fewer hospital admissions. He said the medical benefit of compassion had been shown to be more powerful than that of many medicines.