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Physicians’ Perception of Pain as Related to Empathy, Sympathy and the Mirror-Neuron System 

Physicians’ Perception of Pain as Related to Empathy, Sympathy and the Mirror-Neuron System
Chapter:
Physicians’ Perception of Pain as Related to Empathy, Sympathy and the Mirror-Neuron System
Author(s):

Mohammadreza Hojat

and Mitchell J.M. Cohen

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199768875.003.0029
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date: 07 April 2020

The soothing effect of a mother’s tender loving care on her baby’s pain, described in the aforementioned observation, is a prototype of the analgesic value of empathic attention by a significant person.2 A physician, as a significant authority figure, delivers the gift of healing to a patient in pain in a similar manner. It is the human need for affiliation that prompts us to feel soothed in the presence of significant others, and to feel distressed when left behind.3 In this chapter, we embark on a journey that will attempt to provide explanations for the aforementioned observation.

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