E.M.P.A.T.H.Y.: A Tool to Enhance Nonverbal Communication Between Clinicians and Their Patients
 Helen Riess, MD, and Gordon Kraft-Todd

"There is a gap in the medical education literature on teaching nonverbal detection and expression of empathy. Many articles do not address nonverbal interactions, instead focusing on “what to say” rather than “how to be.” This focus on verbal communication overlooks the essential role nonverbal signals play in the communication of emotions, which has significant effects on patient satisfaction, health outcomes, and malpractice claims. 

This gap is addressed with a novel teaching tool for assessing nonverbal behavior using the acronym E.M.P.A.T.H.Y.—
  • E:  eye contact; 
  • M: muscles of facial expression; 
  • P:  posture;
  • A:  affect; 
  • T:  tone of voice; 
  • H:  hearing the whole patient; 
  • Y:  your response. "