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Study: Doctors lack empathy

Chicago Tribune, October 13, 2008
Cancer specialists and surgeons rarely respond with empathy to patients' concerns, suggests a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Researchers assessed transcripts of 20 audio recordings of consultations between men with lung cancer and surgeons or oncologists at a Veterans Affairs hospital. Physicians had 384 opportunities to show empathy to patient comments such as "This is overwhelming" and "I'm fighting it." They missed all but 39 (10%) of the 384 chances.