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Article
January 15, 1992

The Importance of Being Empathic-Reply

Author Affiliations

Children's Hospital Medical Center Cincinnati, Ohio

JAMA. 1992;267(3):366. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480030044034

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Abstract

In Reply.  —We thank Mr Hughes for his comments. We recognize the importance of empathy in everyday interpersonal relations, but the purpose of our article was to emphasize the use of empathy in medical practice. Empathy involves understanding the patient's feelings rather than "some sort of placebo perfunctory conciliation in times of crises." The physician must be honest and sincere in his compassion and concern for patients. If the empathy is false, the patient will know, and the physician will have lost the opportunity to help the patient.

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