Using Simulated Patient Communication to Teach Provider Empathy
Simulations helped providers understand patient needs during patient communication, emphasizing provider empathy.
You can’t teach empathy, or at least that’s what conventional wisdom suggests. What is often viewed as the crux of good patient-provider communication has long been regarded as one of those intangible elements of provider training, remaining elusive to those who do not “have it.”
But that notion is going away, as medical schools and continuing medical education (CME) programs across the country begin to deploy simulation training helping providers to communicate with their patients better.
A new program out of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is just one case of that, with a patient communication simulation program improving qualitative communication scores by about 29 percentage points.