Master Expressing Empathy with Picmonic for Medicine

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Expressing Empathy

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Expressing Empathy

Expression M-path
PEARLS Mnemonic

The mnemonic "PEARLS" can summarize the theory of expressing empathy. The "PEARLS" mnemonic of expressing empathy includes Partnership, Empathy, Apology, Respect, Legitimization, and Support.


The provider should treat the patient as a partner by working together to determine primary considerations and develop preferred solutions. An example of this conversation could be: "Before we begin this conversation, I want to let you know that you are not going through this alone, and we will go through this care together."


We need to be empathetic with our patients, which can be achieved by acknowledging the patient's emotions.

Acknowledge Emotions

Empathy can be achieved by acknowledging the patient's emotions and understanding why the patient is feeling those emotions. One example of the conversation would be to say, "This has been tough for you, and I can see that."


An apology shows that the provider is taking responsibility when needed. Apologies can be made by offering comfort to the patient.

Offer Comfort

An example of a conversation wherein you offer comfort might be, "I am sorry things seem complicated and not easy for us now, but we can go through this together."

Respectfully-bowing Bear

Respect the patient by complimenting the patient.

Compliment the Patient

Complimenting the patient demonstrates respect. This process may include complimenting the patient because you are spending their time discussing the problems together, and it's important to help them maintain the desire to face the challenge of their circumstances and a positive attitude and behavior. An example of this conversation might be: "Your thoughts are really important in this discussion."


We need to legitimate that the patient's reaction and emotional response are common and legitimate.

Validate Emotions
Validator Emoticons

Legitimization can be done by validating the patient's emotions. One example of this conversation is: "Any patient can feel exhausted because of this situation."


The provider needs to make sure to show support to the patient. One example of this conversation might be: "We will go through this together. My team and I will do our best to give the best care possible."


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