This interactive workshop delves into a deeper understanding and appreciation of compassion in medical practice. The distinction from empathy is first established both in neurobiological and practical terms. This in turn reveals the inaccuracy of the phrase compassion fatigue, to be replaced with the term empathic distress. The result is an appreciation of how compassion can be beneficial not only to patients but to providers as well. However, the power of compassion can only be harnessed through emotional self-regulation, namely the ability to modulate behaviour in response to stressful situations. Participants use a reflective process to identify their specific physical indicators of a stress response that can serve as a warning that their pre-frontal cortex is “offline”. The group then collectively identifies tools to cultivate an emotionally regulated baseline, as well as simple strategies to use in the moment to return to a place of calm. In that open, curious, and engaged state, compassion can arise to the benefit of both provider and recipient.
Physicians, Residents, Medical Students
Promoting Self-Reflection: Guided introspective thought around physician wellness and how to effect change, considering both individual and system-level factors.