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Chicago medical malpractice lawyer lack of empathyBy Tim Tomasik

Everyone expects to receive quality medical care when they see a doctor or go to the hospital, but one aspect of medical treatment that is often overlooked is the manner in which doctors interact with patients. In many cases, overworked doctors may feel that they do not have the time to offer a kind word to their patients and give them the extra emotional attention that lets them know that their needs are being met. However, a recent study has demonstrated the importance of compassion, and a doctor who neglects to provide their patients with the proper care and attention may actually be causing them harm.

Study Finds That Compassion From Doctors Is Important For Patient Health

Some doctors have been known to experience “burnout” after many years of providing medical care to patients. Two doctors at Cooper University Health Care recently conducted a study to address this and find a way to help improve both doctor well-being and patient care. In their new book Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence that Caring Makes a Difference, they describe how they found that when doctors and other health care providers take the time to connect with their patients emotionally, it not only improved patient outcomes, but it also decreased overall medical costs. In fact, the study even found that doctors who took extra time to demonstrate compassion felt that they had more overall time to care for patients.

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By Robert Geimer

According to an analysis by Pro Publica, doctors who receive money, gifts and meals from drug companies write prescriptions for name brand drugs at a higher rate than doctors who do not receive money or gifts.  The highest prescribing percentages went to doctors who received more than $5,000 in money or gifts.  Though doctors have long disputed a connection between drug company payments and prescribing habits, this analysis provides proof.  If this were to happen in a different context, it might be considered bribery or a payoff.  But because of the outsized influence and campaign contributions of pharmaceutical and physician groups, it is just “incentive.”

By Robert Geimer

For many years physicians in training, called residents, worked brutally long shifts, barely sleeping over the course of days.  As the workhorses of medical care in hospitals, this justifiably led to concerns over errors due to the dangerous combination of inexperience and sleep deprivation.  This resulted in rule changes limiting residents to no more than 28 straight hours at the hospital, and 14 hours off after working a 24 hour shift.  However, a study in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine has concluded that the reduced resident hours have not impacted patient safety, and is therefore recommending returning to the brutally long shifts of the past.  Groups such as the American Medical Student Association are opposing such a rollback, pointing to the “overwhelming” evidence of the dangers of sleep deprivation.  In the middle of all of this are hospital patients who expect – and pay for – medical professionals to be at their best.

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