Does Taking Time for Compassion Make Doctors Better at Their Jobs?

After considering more than 1,000 scientific abstracts and 250 research papers, Dr. Stephen Trzeciak and Dr. Anthony Mazzarelli were surprised to find that the answer was, resoundingly, yes. When health care providers take the time to make human connections that help end suffering, patient outcomes improve and medical costs decrease. Among other benefits, compassion reduces pain, improves healing, lowers blood pressure, and helps alleviate depression and anxiety. In their new book, Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence that Caring Makes a Difference, Trzeciak and Mazzarelli lay out research showing the benefits of compassion, and how it can be learned. One study they cite shows that when patients received a message of empathy, kindness, and support that lasted just 40 seconds their anxiety was measurably reduced.

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