Researchers in Barcelona Spain recently published a private clinic study in the journal Fertility and Sterility. The study focused on the impact of emphatic skills training on patient perception during the first consultation. Emphatic skills, including socialization, empathy and communication style are important to creating that initial bond of trust between patient and physician in all medical settings.
For the sake of the study, 13 physicians saw 2,146 patients. Some physicians were given emphatic training before the first meeting and others were not. Patients were then asked to rate the doctors on five factors – expertise, interaction, dedication of time, visit dynamic and provided information.
Conclusion: Doctors given emphatic training scored higher than doctors who did not receive training. Patients clearly want doctors willing to spend time, provide information in a more personal manner and empathize with the situation.
Source: García D, Bautista O, Venereo L, Coll O, Vassena R, Vernaeve V. Training in empathic skills improves the patient-physician relationship during the first consultation in a fertility clinic. Fertil Steril. 2013 Jan 4. pii: S0015-0282(12)02506-X. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2012.12.012.