Medical students "taught how to practice empathy by following clever mnemonics" - NEJM

C. Nicholas Cuneo, M.D. in the NEJM: "With every faux interaction I felt myself being forced to shed another layer of authenticity, and I quickly grew to dread the whole tedious charade.

PEARLS, it spelled out: Partnership, Empathy, Apology, Respect, Legitimization, and Support.

With a smirk, I tossed it in the trash."

Better understanding and educational approach are needed.


Just as a side note, here is an overview of some empathy/communication mnemonics with the corresponding references:

"PEARLS – which stands for partnership, empathy, apology/acknowledgment, respect, legitimation, and support"

"The NURSE mnemonic is a useful memory aid to assist you to comprehensively and appropriately respond to patients’ emotions"

The NURSE mnemonic has been reproduced from Back A, Arnold R, Tulsky J. Mastering communication with seriously ill patients: balancing honesty with empathy and hope. Cambridge University Press; 2009 Mar 2.

"The 4 C's"

"BATHE Mnemonic"

Communicate with H.E.A.R.T®

The H.E.A.R.T. program consists of 3 training modules: S.T.A.R.T. with Heart® focuses on nine key expected services behaviors to use in every interaction with patient, families and other employees. Respond with H.E.A.R.T.® is an innovative model for service recovery providing employees with tools to help consistently address patient concerns. Answer with H.E.A.R.T.® delivers training for exceptional phone service and crucial factors for de-escalating challenging calls.

R.E.D.E. to Communicate


Why Doctors Should Be More Empathetic--But Not Too Much More

Female doctors show more empathy, but at a cost to their mental well-being

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