Jodi Halpern

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Jodi Halpern MD, PhD

The Power of Compassion: How Clinical Empathy Affects Patient Outcomes

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What You'll Learn

  • Discover the research behind clinical empathy and why its essential to optimizing patient health outcomes

  • Understand how empathetic engagement protects against clinician burnout

  • Learn about “shared decision making”, what it is, and how to bring it to your work with practical tips

About Jodi Halpern MD, PhD

Jodi Halpern is a Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities in the Joint Medical Program and the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley. She is the co-founder and co-lead of the Berkeley Group for the Ethics and Regulation of Innovative Technologies. Her work brings together psychiatry, philosophy, affective forecasting and decision science to elucidate how people imagine and influence their own and each other’s future health possibilities. Her first book, From Detached Concern to Empathy: Humanizing Medical Practice was called a “seminal work” by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Her scholarly articles focus on topics that include research and medical ethics, emotions, and decision-making and the ethics of innovative technologies. Her work appears in publications such as the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Journal of Medical Ethics, Emotion Review, Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience, Gerontology and Global Public Health as well as in popular media. Halpern is also doing embedded research with scientists developing new technologies including gene editing. Halpern is invited to present her work internationally, including at the 2018 and 2019 meetings of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

About Mark Bertin, MD

Mark Bertin, MD is a developmental pediatrician and author of How Children Thrive, Mindful Parenting for ADHD and The Family ADHD Solution, which integrate mindfulness into the rest of evidence-based pediatric care. He is a contributing author for the book Teaching Mindfulness Skills to Kids and Teens. Dr. Bertin is on faculty at New York Medical College and the Windward Teacher Training Institute, and on the advisory boards for the non-profits Common Sense Media and Reach Out and Read. He is a regular contributor to Mindful Magazine, and his blog is available through and Psychology Today. For more information, please visit his website.

What do you think?
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  1. laura October 8, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    Faith… Where have u been. Doctor empathy, actually talk with ur client… for 5 whole minutes, on patient’s level of concern! Ur out of touch, it seems. Blessings. Laura

  2. Rick Barber October 6, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    Very Powerful to listen to 2 Dr’s and how they approach Empathic Concern from Pt. to the Healthcare Systems &
    how they Study to improve these all around!
    Having been a LCSW in the past working in Healthcare has made me much more aware as a Wellness Coach now!
    A lot of what Dr. Jodi indicated goes way way back to the Technique of asking & responding with Rogerian-like methods of Psychology! (As in Carl Rogers)
    Thank you both for this Presentation & all you do for Healthcare!

  3. Kanchi October 5, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    I can relate to much of what Dr Halpern spoke about, and it is reassuring to hear that research is being done in these areas. I was trained at the University of the West Indies and these things were not explicitly taught and were not things that we as students knew to do as common sense. In fact I don’t recall there being much distinction being made between empathy and sympathy. We were taught that emotion clouds your judgement and you need to remain detached. The phrase “engaged curiosity” gives me language to describe what I taught myself to do with patients because I realised that if I understood why they were non-compliant for example, we could find a way to become compliant. A good example is asking female hypertensive patients why they skip their meds. Often this is because they were placed on diuretics which require frequent trips to the bathroom, so if they are not at home near an easily accessible bathroom, they will skip the meds. I wish I had some of that training as a medical student, and I really believe that it is a teachable skill that ought to be part of a medical currculum…and apparently the research supports that also. Thank you for an enlightening talk

  4. Faith October 5, 2020 at 8:30 am

    Goodness, I do not understand why there has to be explicit training and research and talk about these “common sense” skills right now for doctors (i.e., this and Epsteins talk). I mean isn’t this basic bedside manner as they called it and are they not taught in medical school? Are doctors forgetting the humility and essence of medical practice? That would be very sad if this is the case!

  5. Jean Ellis-Sankari October 4, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    Excellent conversation. Thank you!

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