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Editor's Correspondence
April 27, 2009April 27, 2009

Editor's CorrespondenceCOMMENTS AND OPINIONS

Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(8):809-813. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.83

The article by Morse et al1 titled “Missed Opportunities for Interval Empathy in Lung Cancer Communication” addressed an interesting and important topic in medical care. The researchers examined empathic opportunity statements made by patients and the responses provided by their physicians, as well as racial differences in empathy responses. Physician-provided empathy can have a significant impact on patients' experiences with the health care system and influence their adherence to medical recommendations.2 Unfortunately, on their review of patient-physician interactions, the results indicated that physicians met only 10% of empathic opportunities. There were no differences in empathy responses related to the race of the patient.