Empathy – real empathy – is a mysterious phenomenon. It’s reasonable to ask whether we have the capacity to truly tune into other people’s experiences, particularly when they’re traumatic. Perhaps we get closest to real empathy when we’re able to draw on our own compelling experiences that somehow approximate those of the people we care about most. It may not be a perfect fit, but it may be as close as we can get. And that’s what we hear from B. J. Rich.
B.J. Rich is a nurse clinician and educator. She recently visited England to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Kindertransport and connect with the renowned Attenborough family, who had taken in her mother during World War II.
The medical students we've been following this year, Sarah Rapoport and Peter Kaminski, are about to wrap up their second year of medical school and, with it, their time in the classroom. They'll spend their third and fourth years in the hospital, learning on the job.