Given the too often uncivil tenor of so much discourse in today’s polarized, divisive society, empathetic communication is now more critical than ever. Especially in the humanistic field of biomedicine, caregivers should, by definition, come across as truly caring and giving—not only in person with every individual patient, but also in the immeasurably wider, longer-lasting world of books and journals. As editors and writers, we can endeavor to ensure that language in biomedical manuscripts and related materials conveys appropriate empathy for patients in particular, regardless of their age, gender, race or nationality, class (within the medical hierarchy and/or within society in general), or any other overarching category. “First do no harm,” after all, is the ages-old mantra of physicians and, by extension, all of us in this far-reaching field.
After participating in this webinar, participants should be able to:
- Identify examples of nonempathetic wording in the work they write and/or edit
- Make more informed decisions about replacing nonempathetic wording with workable alternatives
- Stay alert to in-flux, as well as future, changes in acceptable wording