I keep reading the research regarding empathy.  Of course, I find it really interesting.  If you are reading this, I assume you are at least curious.  Let me summarize some of what I have learned. 
1.  People are born with a certain "talent" for empathy.  It varies from person to person.  Most of us are adequately endowed to work with others well.
2.  The empathic talent can be developed or suppressed through experience.  It should/must be encouraged, especially in those of us that have moderate to weak empathy.  Those that are less empathic need to know it is important and learn ways to navigate the world.
Our system of educating healthcare professionals tends to suppress empathy.
This suppression is accumulative with empathy decreasing as they progress.
Unfortunately, patients clearly have poorer outcomes when their doctors/nurses have weak empathy. 
Weak or absent empathy could be blamed for a great many of the world's problems.
Let me pose a question.  Who would have stronger empathy for you?
Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?  Is it an important facet for our president?
--Dave

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