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The mission of the Empathy and Relational Science Program is to enhance empathy and interpersonal relationships in healthcare.
Our team’s focus is on empathy in the patient-clinician relationship. Our research is grounded in the neurobiology and physiology of human interaction and emotion and is informed by relational sciences. We offer evidence-based empathy education that optimizes the patient experience, promoting respectful, compassionate, and effective communication at all levels of healthcare.
Studies have demonstrated that the degree of clinician empathy plays a significant role in improving outcomes in medicine, predicting quality of care, patient safety and satisfaction, and in decreasing malpractice claims. We also participate in interdisciplinary research collaborations and believe that empathy plays an important role across industries, including fields such as executive coaching, management and leadership, and education.
Boston Globe: At MGH, schooling doctors in the power of empathy
Greater Good Science Center: Should We Train Doctors for Empathy?
US News: Why Nice Doctors Are Better Doctors
CNN: Instilling empathy among doctors pays off for patient care
PBS NewHour: Efforts to instill empathy among doctors is paying dividends
Washington Post: Teaching doctors how to engage more and lecture less
89.5FM WPKN - The Emotion Roadmap: Interview with Dr. Helen Riess
Research ActivitiesOngoing research includes the development and pilot testing of a sophisticated empathy training program for healthcare professionals to improve patient outcomes
New Article: Using the potential of professional coaching to address physician burnout
New report details program successes
New report: Study confirms impact of clinician-patient relationship on health outcomes
Dr. Helen Riess receives 2013 Partners Medical Education Research AwardDr. Riess accepted the award from Dr. Gregory Fricchone. See more information about the 2013 Medical Education Award Recipients here. Read more about Dr. Riess' work here.
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