About this event

  • Date and time Mon 4 Nov 2019 from 8:30am to 5:05pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by Open

This meeting will explore the latest evidence-based ways to practice, teach, and embed empathy within healthcare settings.

We’ll be joined by experts in empathy, including key speaker Professor Jodi Halpern, Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities, University of California, Berkeley, who will be discussing challenges to clinical empathy, Professor Stewart Mercer, Professor of Primary Care Research, University of Glasgow, Dr Sian Rees and Dr Jeremy Howick from the Oxford Empathy Programme, and Dr Brian Donley, Orthopaedic Surgeon and CEO of Cleveland Clinic.

Delegates can expect a rounded view and learn about the role and importance of empathy in healthcare from current research, education, policy, practice and patient perspectives. This interactive meeting presents the opportunity to meet and discuss with an expert panel who specialise in empathy in healthcare and the chance to contribute to the field by presenting oral presentations and posters showcasing research, education, policy, practice and patient perspectives on empathy in healthcare.    

Topics include: 

  • Evidence-based practice, how to teach and embed empath in healthcare
  • The role of humans for promoting empathy in the digital age  
  • Consolidate and expand the growing global network of empathy researchers and teachers, and to position the UK as a leader for healthcare empathy research and practice  

In the words of the great physician, Sir William Osler “The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.”


Call for papers and posters

Applications for brief presentations or posters are now open. Any topic related to empathy in healthcare will be acceptable, especially those on:

  • The nature of therapeutic empathy
  • How to teach empathy
  • The relationship between empathy and technology
  • How to make organisations more empathetic

In order to apply, please provide a brief (maximum 200 word) abstract, and state whether you prefer to give a presentation or poster.

Deadline: Friday 20 September 2019

Please send submissions to open@rsm.ac.uk


Early bird pricing available until 04 October 2019.


RSM Fellow RSM Associate RSM Retired Fellow RSM Trainee RSM Student
£85.00 £55.00 £55.00 £55.00 £35.00

Non - Member

Consultant / GP AHP / Nurse / Midwife Trainee Student
£142.00 £92.00 £92.00 £58.00

Key speakers

Professor Jodi Halpern

Professor Jodi Halpern

Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities, UC Berkeley, in the Joint Medical Program and the School of Public Health. 

Speaker's biography

Professor Halpern is co-founder of the Berkeley Group for the Ethics and Regulation of Innovative Technologies.


Her work brings together psychiatry, philosophy, affective forecasting and decision neuroscience to study how people imagine and change their own – and each other’s – future possibilities.


Her foundational work on on clinical empathy has helped make medical care more patient-centered.


For more information on Professor Halpern please click here

Professor Stewart Mercer

Professor Stewart Mercer

Professor of Primary Care Research, University of Glasgow and National Lead for Multimorbidity Research, Director of the Scottish School of Primary Care


View the programme

Registration, coffee and tea
Welcome to Royal Society of Medicine

Professor Sir Simon Wessley, President, Royal Society of Medicine

Session one: Evidence

Person centred care and empathy

To be confirmed

Why every healthcare consultation needs a dose of empathy

Jeremy Howick

Measuring empathy and its effects in primary care

Stewart Mercer

Tea and coffee break

Session two: Interactive sessions

Panel discussion

Session three: Policy and education

Title to be confirmed

Sian Rees

Challenges to clinical empathy

Professor Jodi Halpern

Session four: Interactive sessions

Panel discussion
Tea and coffee break

Poster viewing

Session five: Culture and organisation

Creating a culture of empathy at the Cleveland Clinic

Brian Donley, Cleveland Clinic

Session six: Interactive session

Buzz groups to reflect on what they have heard so far and how they will put it into practice
Panel discussion: How to build a culture of empathy within healthcare
Close of meeting


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom


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