Angela Kubacki

Angela Kubacki

I am Head of Clinical Communication and a Senior Lecturer at St George's, University of London. I am a Senior Fellow of Advanced HE and a Chartered Health Psychologist.

Location London, UK

Activity

  • Exactly!

  • Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Amy. It can be difficult to empathise with some people and we can't pretend to understand we know what it's like for them. This is where it's important to have a more cognitive approach where we can see how difficult a sitaution is for someone and how it is affecting them, even if we've never been there or experienced it....

  • It's interesting how just standing up to greet our patients at the start of the consultation can make a big difference in how the patient feels and responds throughout the consultation.

  • It is a remarkable difference, isn't it?! And the fact it's doesn't take that much longer to be empathic is even more useful to note!

  • Very good observations of the doctor's key empathic skills, Louise!

  • Good observation of the doctor's empathic skills, Natalia.

  • Excellent observations, Holly. You've picked up on so many of the patient-centred communication skills the doctor was demonstrating in the consultation. And you noticed the impact on the patient too!

  • You've picked up on the fact he definitely seems more interested in the patient as a person rather than just a set of symptoms.

  • Hi Holly! Thank you for joining us. I hope you enjoy the course.

  • I do agree that empathy is experienced differently by people. Being flexible and attuned to the patient in front of us is important for making that connection.

  • Thank you for sharing that example. It is often the most basic of communication skills that are needed to simply show interest, which can make a huge difference in how the patient feels when leaving the consultation.

  • This is a very interesting point! We have been working on diversifying our team so watch this space!!

  • Glad to have you with us, Zahra!

  • A very good point- empathy can be learned and we improve and our empathic skills grow when we practice it!

  • It is true that actively listening to the patient's ideas and concerns will help us to provide the most effective information and advice to patients. We can always continue and practice these skills!

  • Thank you for sharing your learning! Excellent!

  • Excellent learning this week! We hope you enjoyed it and are looking forward to Week 2!

  • I wonder if in Week 2, this may become more clear as to why it is important to take a more cognitive approach to empathy, particularly when you are stressed, tired or feeling overwhelemed?

  • You have all shared different but insightful ideas of what empathy means to you. Thank you!

  • These are some great strategies! Thank you for sharing! It is so important to recognise the need for looking after yourself!

  • I agree that this is a worry about future care. We can still be patient-centred AND efficient as long as we are listening to our patients and actively seeking to understand their concerns. The evidence suggests that being patient-centred is effiecient care. Being aware of the patient's preferences for treatment as well as for the modality of consultation...

  • It's excellent that you are thinking about this now and for the future as hopefully there will be many opportunities to learn and practice your skills along the way to qualifying.

  • I agree and this can be at odds with the level of care we want/should provide to our patients. This is a real challenge and one that many of us also struggle with.

  • Thank you for sharing all of your reflections. The fact that you have made time for this course and have engaged with the learning demonstrates that you really do want to make a difference in the care of your patients. This is so encouraging although I do recognise that many are worried about feeling tired, stessed and overwhelmed in clinical practice. I do...

  • This is very insightful, thank you for sharing!

  • I agree that this is important. Recognising our own need for empathy can help us in recognising our patients needs too.

  • I think all patients want to be heard and acknowledged. This is probably universal.

  • MIght be a better idea to see if a colleague might be able to help you with your patient load if you are feeling too tired.

  • Thanks, Sophie. I think it is so important to remember to look after you own health and well-being, especially when you are looking after the health and well-being of others. This can help you to avoid getting to the stage of burnout!

  • I think the way applicants manage and handle the stress leading up to and on the day of the interviews is important in helping them reflect on their suitability for a career in healthcare. To get to the interview stage, they clearly have shown great determination and the MMI should be an opportunity for them to shine and demonstrate their abilities in...

  • I think it is an interesting debate around unidirectional questions and bi-directional, conversation-like stations which allow assessors to ask more probing questions. Applicants preceptions are important and fairness seems to be key. However, some candidates might be more comfortable with a conversational style rather than having 5 minutes to provide an...

  • Hi Chris, I agree that balancing your interviewing team is so important. We also aim to recruit a diverse set of interviewers for each circuit. We often run 3 circuits at a time and then allocate our interviewers to each circuit to ensure diversity across all 3. This can be difficult however if interviewers drop out on the day or at the last minute but we...

  • Yes, it would be feedback to the admissions team that would often result in the candiate not being made an offer.

  • A red flag may pick up a candidate who has expressed a view that is not commensurate with the values of the institution or whose response has caused concern for the assesor. The assessor would need to provide specific feedback about why they have given a red flag and the applicant would be reviewed by the admissions tutor before an offer was made.

  • Perhaps the unidirectional nature reduces the subjectivity and that is why they are perceived as more fair? What do others think?

  • Hi Shahid! Thank you for joining the course! I hope you find it helpful. Please continue to post any questions. Your reflections on your experience are really useful. Thanks for sharing!

  • I love this!! I am in the UK too and the idea of the 1st UK Women Friendly City sounds great! Good luck with this! I would also like to learn more about what this means and how you are bringing about this change.

  • Congratulations, Clara! I am a Health Psychologist and I love my work! Good luck to you in your future career@ClaraSforza

  • I grew up in Michigan and I appreciate the difficulties for small businesses during this time. Thank you for sharing your positivity. I agree that this time has allowed for us to focus on our families and I am very thankful for this. I am enjoying working alongside my children everyday now and I feel I am connecting with them in a whole new way.

  • Thank you for sharing! Sounds like you are doing some great community work and some excellent research too! I'm not much of a gardener but my 14 year old daughter has amazed me with her skills and ability to plant and maintain a beautiful little garden on her balcony. She is thriving during this time as she is focusing on her plants and flowers and is very...

  • Hi! I am Angela, born and raised in Northern Michigan, I am now a British citizen and living with my family in the UK for over 20 years. I am on annual leave from work this week so I am using this time to learn something new and to hopefully come back to "thriving"! I'm a co-creator of FutureLearn courses and a primary educator so I am familiar with this way...

  • Thrive, to me, means growth and potential. I am thriving when I can focus on the positive, rather than wallowing in the negative. It is about seeing the potential in all things and people and working as a collective, rather than feeling overwhelmed.

  • Angela Kubacki made a comment

    Hello! I am a Health Psychologist working in the UK. I am currently employed in Higher Education, leading a team and teaching medical students. We are doing all of our teaching online now but I am still in contact with my team, my students and all of my personal tutees. I would like to help everyone to thrive during this difficult time so I've joined this...

  • You have recognised the impact on the patient when there is a lack of empathy and interest from the health care provider. Many of us may have also been in similar situations. This helps to remind us of how our own interpersonal skills can impact on all of our conversations.

  • Some really good skills for setting up the consultation and establishing rapport with the patient. It's clear that the opening is very important for setting the tone and for acknowledging how the patient is feeling and anything else that might get in the way of a productive consultation. By demonstrating respect with empathy and listening, the patient will...

  • It is the reality of our work that we will be affected by the difficult situations - as you say, we are humans. I think that sometimes these feelings can catch us off guard, when a situation with a patient triggers a memory or a patient reminds us of a member of our own family. It is normal to feel these emotions and sometimes we need to attend to them rather...

  • Thank you so much for sharing this! I think many of us in healthcare struggle with balancing the desire to do the best for our patients whilst also the desire to look after our own families. This is why boundaries are so important but often very difficult to keep when organisations are stretched and staffing is low. I haven't found a solution yet to this...

  • This is so true- sometimes just being genuinely interested in how the patient is coping or feeling can foster the trust that is needed between patients and healthcare professionals.

  • Wow! Some fantastic learning has been happening this week. There is no "universal formula" for being empathic - be flexible and adaptable with your patients to show that you care and want to understand them.

  • Some excellent suggestions- thank you for sharing your thoughts on how you would express empathy.

  • I agree! Remember that the best way to demonstrate interest in your patients is by actually being interested in your patients!

  • You are right- time is often the reason cited for not picking up on the cues that patients give about how they are feeling, especially during very busy clinics. Sometimes we recognise the cues but because of time pressures make a choice to not pick up on this or allow the patient any time to express how they are feeling. Even when under time pressure, it is...

  • I agree. Self care is especially important when you are supporting patients and their families with end of life care.

  • And it is much easier for us to show that we care when we actually do care about the other person's situation.

  • Thank you for joining! Your work sounds very interesting and aligned with what we are doing at St George's. We hope you will continue to share your thoughts and learning throughout the course.

  • I agree. Empathy should be supported in practice too.

  • I agree. It is important not to label patients as "difficult" but acknowledge that situations are difficult. In doing this, we can be more open to working with the patient to understand the difficulties rather coming at it with a defensive attitude. I do appreciate this does require some effort!

  • I'm glad you picked up on this. Negotiating an agenda with the patient (and acknowledging the time constraints) is a very good place to start to ensure both doctor and patient are clear about what needs to be accomplished in the consultation.

  • It is great to read about all of the learning points from Week 1. Thank you for taking the time to share your reflections. In developing a greater understanding of the different ways in which we can express empathy, we develop insight into our own practice and can develop further as practitioners and clinicians.

  • Excellent! A great learning point. Thank you for sharing this.

  • This is very sound advice. It is so important to listen actively to patients and pick up on their concerns and feelings as well as gathering the important clinical details. Clinicians will make a more accurate diagnosis if they use a patient-centred approach.

  • This is very true- it is about finding the right balance. This requires us to be aware of the impact of our own emotions and how we express empathy to others.

  • Very well put! Thanks for sharing!

  • These are great approaches- it's clear that you all appreciate the importance of validating a person's emotions and giving them time and space to allow them to express their concerns. I hope you enjoy the rest of the course!