HMIDC 2013: Teaching Empathy Online

Can you teach empathy online?  Empathy in medicine is in jeopardy. Dr Helen Reiss from MGH has developed tools online to help ensure that residents/fellows are learning empathy.

In a small trial, she showed good success in ENT residents. Long term data is promising. In a larger randomized trial, many medicine and residents fellows were trained using a three hour video and showed significant improvement in empathy.

This is a disruptive innovation as I never would have thought one could teach empathy using e-learning and the humanistic touch would always be needed.

In addition, http://empathetics.com/ is a website that allows this to be now used worldwide by the investigators.

Given the significant need for communication skills in renal fellows, this would be essential and training program directors might want to include using this website as part of their teaching curriculum.

Check out all of eAJKD’s coverage here and on Twitter (@eAJKD) on the Harvard Macy Institute’s “Become a Digital Citizen – Technology in Health Care Education” course.

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