This essay explores how the experiences of patients and physicians are asymmetrical, what the significance of these asymmetries is, and how creative writing can help a physician become more aware of these differences to become more empathetic. Four elements of creative writing are discussed, namely how it teaches the writer to listen to stories, imagine perspectives, self-learn, and cope with past difficulties. The essay argues how each of these four components plays a role in developing empathy in healthcare. The author hopes to bring clarity into the narrative medicine discussion by distinguishing empathy from sympathy, and illustrating why this distinction is important for physicians.



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