As far as my neurologist is concerned, he’s a good man, I believe he’s competent and he listens to me and pretty much lets me do what I think is best. I don’t really expect him to feel “empathy”; I see him twice a year, and I can only imagine the number of patients he sees, so I don’t think it’s realistic to expect his empathy.
I work in mental health/social work and we have a term called “compassion fatigue”. Clinicians often get burnt out and can’t cope with their own difficult circumstances when they give too much of themselves emotionally to their clients… It’s a hazard of the job. I imagine that seeing a high number of patients could do the same to a physician and doctors are probably educated about keeping their emotional distance in order to protect themselves. I do think it’s possible for them to still feel empathy, however, they just need to be mindful of healthy emotional boundaries.
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