The Medicine of Compassion

Core Skills for the Human Side of Health Care

An introductionary seminar for new health professionals and a refresher on the fundamentals for experienced staff. This inspiring and insightful video gives instructors a practical way to introduce, discuss and develop compassion as a skill that everyone can learn. With no ambiguity at all, an instructor can show examples that illustrate precisely what is meant by “compassion.”

Your audience learns how to:

  1. Develop the four core competencies that create the experience of compassion for a someone who is ill or injured. They are the foundational skills of excellent relationship-centered care.
  2. Listen, create rapport, and extend compassion, even when busy.
  3. Identify the communication errors that alienate patients, and remove them.
  4. Continually improve competencies in compassion through self-evaluation.

Ideal for interdisciplinary teams. The program features nurses, physicians and allied health professionals at work treating real patients in real life, in entirely candid unscripted scenes.

  • Set high standards of excellence in patient communication by making it visible.
  • Set the stage for great meetings by using the video to launch meaningful group dialogue on the subject.

Excerpts from “Oxygen for Caregivers”


“Terrific! For the first time compassion is presented as a skill which any health care professional can learn.”

Jane Metiu, RN, MSN, Professor of Nursing
Santa Barbara City College

“Throughout history, compassion, caring, and love have been the foundation of healing. Without them, medical science and technology are inadequate. The Medicine of Compassion reminds us that these factors remain crucial in health care, as the greatest healers have always known”

Larry Dossey, MD. Author: Reinventing Medicine and Healing Words
Barbara Dossey, PhD, RN. Author: Florence Nightingale: Mystic, Visionary, Healer and Holistic Nursing.

How do we teach compassion?

karenSimonAccording to Karen and Simon Fox, the best way to teach compassion is not to teach, but to inspire through real-life examples. Just as Adventures in Caring’s volunteers have learned their skills from personal experiences, the camera follows doctors, nurses and care-givers into the world of real situations, real challenges and real emotions.

The video shows how compassion forms a bridge between the two very different worlds: the world of the busy health care professional and the anxious, uncertain world of the patient. When compassion is present patients feel confident about the care they receive and health care staff experience greater satisfaction when working in a partnership with patients.


Good reasons to cultivate compassion in your staff

  1. missionImprove patient safety
    Better communication with patients equals fewer mistakes.
  2. Increase patient satisfaction scores
    Patients who experience compassion give hospitals the highest ratings—and then go on to tell all of their friends about the wonderful staff who looked after them.
  3. Increase staff morale and retention
    You will keep your best people longer, and they will hold standards of care higher, when they are invited to bring their hearts to work.
  4. Reduce risk of litigation
    As a rule of thumb, people don’t sue people they like.
  5. Conserve hospital resources
    People who feel cared about under-use resources – they tend to use fewer pain medications and are usually discharged sooner – because their needs are met the first time.
  6. Save staff time
    Spend less time doing damage control for the clumsy communicators who cause misunderstandings and hurt patients’ feelings.
  7. Better medical outcomes
    Research shows that patients who experience empathy are far more likely to stick with their medical regimen, and therefore get better results.

Buy DVD & Leader Guide $295.00

Download to Own $185.00

View Video $2.95.




This program includes:

  • 40-minute Video.
    Winner, 2004 International Health & Medical Media Award for best video in patient care. Documentary-style production, original musical score, and real-life scenes guaranteed to inspire your audience and stimulate a meaningful conversation.
  • 64-page Leader Guide with detailed class formats for a 60-minute or 90-minute sessions, or a 3-hour workshop. Additional discussion questions, class exercises, and video index, are included so that you can  custom-design your own classes, plus resources for continued learning and suggestions for measuring progress.
  • 2 Handouts for your audience, formatted for easy copying. Two double-sided pages summarize the essential points of the video and expand upon them.

“In our fast-paced, high-tech health care system we must be reminded that health care is about people and relationships. The Medicine of Compassion can be used by all health care educators to show the central elements of the art of medicine; compassion, listening, and communication. Bravo!”.

Lanyard K. Dial, M.D.Associate Professor of Family Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine, Medical Director, Ventura County Medical Center



Next video: Compassion in Action