Good communication makes our work interesting, richer and deeper. But empathy may dry up over time, hence the need to refresh/recharge periodically.
The most open question is "How are you?" The direction a patient chooses offers valuable information during this first "golden" minute in which you are silent.
Share management plans: "What can we do about this"? Unless you become patient-centered, your patient may never be satisfied with you, or fully cooperative.
Every hospital has a department of reflection. It exists in your mind, don't forget to visit there from time to time.
These are excerpts from the Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine. Read more on page 4, Asking questions:
Here is the famous Cleveland Clinic video "Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care: Patient care is more than just healing -- it's building a connection that encompasses mind, body and soul. If you could stand in someone else's shoes . . . hear what they hear. See what they see. Feel what they feel. Would you treat them differently?"