A study just published from Michigan State University showed patients that had a relationship with their doctor based on empathy were much more tolerant of pain.  It was demonstrated convincingly by MRI studies that directly demonstrated how the brain responded to painful stimuli.  The sample size was small, thus the study will be repeated to learn more.  In my own experience with patients, I would have to say that this is a simple truth.


Issidoros Sarinopoulos, Ashley M. Hesson, Chelsea Gordon, Seungcheol A. Lee, Lu Wang, Francesca Dwamena, Robert C. Smith. Patient-centered interviewing is associated with decreased responses to painful stimuli: An initial fMRI study. Patient Education and Counseling, 2012

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