Empathy, Doctor Patient Equality And Humour

976 Words Aug 16th, 2015 4 Pages
There are many poignant ideas relating to doctor-patient relationships to explore after reflecting on this film, however I would like to focus on empathy, doctor-patient equality and humour.
In Patch Adams, the doctors do not seem to implement empathy into their practice, and I currently believe this is detrimental to patient health. An article by H. Shipperlee (Shipperlee, 2009) suggests that patients may feel helpless when confronted with doctors who treat them and as object to be cured. This creates barriers between doctors and their patients and may cause the patient distress. The author suggests that in order to improve empathy in healthcare it is important to learn about patient narratives, and perceive the whole person rather than just their illness. Referring back to a quote from Patch Adams "doctors should offer treatment, but also counsel and hope", E. Warnecke (Warnecke, 2014) examined statistics from Australian General Practice and found that the two most frequently used clinical treatments were counselling and advice. These require well developed communication skills, and above all empathy. Empathy seems to encourage comfort and understanding between the doctors and patients, but often our self perception of expressed empathy is different to what the patient experiences. A study on physician assistant students (K Floyd, 2015) obtained data that indicated that student often thought that they expressed more empathy than what the patient perceived. Perhaps this…
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