CDC head: Empathy critical to public health

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Putting patients at the center of care--making them VIPs, to whom clinicians listen and show empathy--doesn't just promote high patient satisfaction scores but can also improve public health, according to a commentary from Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published in STAT. The Ebola epidemic in West Africa, for example, was rife with challenges ranging from illiteracy to burial practices that helped spread the virus. "The only way the affected countries and global health community were able to stop the epidemic was by treating patients as VIPs and providing them--and their communities--with the services they said they needed most," he wrote. Commentary