The Empathy Exams
What exactly is empathy? Is it the same thing as sympathy? They certainly sound similar, but who knows if that means that they have the same meaning? If they mean the same thing, then why would there be two different words to say the same thing? Of course, there are other examples of different words meaning the same thing, like happy, joyous, jubilant, glad, and many others, so it is still possible that sympathy and empathy mean the same thing, right? According to Leslie Jamison, the above is exactly what empathy actually means: a willingness to ask questions in an effort to learn. In The Empathy Exams, author Jamison explores exactly what empathy is, and why it is important not only in doctors, but in everybody so we can all console each other. Blending together an incredibly personal story with a (literally) textbook impersonal story, Jamison explains why humans, deep down, need to be understood by each other, especially during times of need. She effortlessly switches between evaluating nameless doctors and her own boyfriend on their empathetic abilities. Looking to question your interactions with other humans on a fundamental level? Pick up The Empathy Exams to find out if you pass the test!