Thu, Aug 24th, 2023

Compassionomics: The Scientific Evidence that Caring Makes a Difference

Recent data indicate that healthcare is in the midst of a compassion crisis. But a pivotal question is this: Does compassion really matter? Healthcare workers have always had a moral and ethical imperative to treat patients with compassion, and compassion is a cornerstone of the “art” of medicine. But is compassion just in the art of medicine, or are there also evidence-based effects of compassion belonging in the science of medicine? In this presentation, Dr. Trzeciak will share the findings of his two-year journey through the scientific literature to test the hypothesis that compassion matters – for patients, for patient care, and for those who care for patients. Compelling research shows that compassion has measurable beneficial effects on patients across a wide variety of conditions, and also moves patients to take better care of themselves. Numerous studies show that compassion for patients is also associated with higher quality healthcare and lower costs of care. Rigorous research supports that compassion can be a powerful therapy for the giver, too. Science shows that more caring in healthcare – and the meaningful relationships that flow from that – can promote resilience among healthcare workers. Dr. Trzeciak will share the evidence that compassion can be protective against burnout, and for those already in the throes of burnout, compassion can be an antidote. Dr. Trzeciak will also share a personal story of going through burnout himself, and how compassion was a key to his recovery.