As strange as it might seem, empathy is not standard equipment among doctors.
See the article in the Boston Globe:
Innovative organizations like The Schwartz Center (http://www.theschwartzcenter.org/) are pushing to bring compassion back into the patient experience. But it is an uphill battle.
At Stackpole & Associates, (http://www.stackpoleassociates.com/services/seminars.shtml) we are seeing increased interest in “the patient experience” in part because of accreditation standards that emphasize patient and family satisfaction.
Still, it seems strange that at our most vulnerable, we are treated by those for whom “caring” may be optional.