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Doctors Need Emotional Intelligence Too

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The Bedside Manner Really Does Matter

In the grand scheme of things, you may think that their failure to address Dr Granger by using her name is somewhat unimportant. However, Dr Granger does touch upon what, during a potentially stressful and distressing time, can make a difficult situation worse rather than better. And that point is the absence of authentic empathy. The lack of the oh so important 'bedside manner' which perhaps we all appreciate when we are feeling emotionally drained, vulnerable, worried or even terrified about the position we find ourselves in; or could potentially find ourselves in.

At a time when a human being would welcome a touch of humanity, alongside technical expertise and experience, it takes perhaps two seconds to look another human being in the eyes and address them by their name. Two seconds maximum. What can happen within those two seconds can be nothing short of magical. An invisible thread of empathy, compassion and invitation to collaborate is transmitted from the medical professional towards the patient which says 'I'm here with you and for you'. Is this really too much to ask?

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