Professor offers virtual course on medical empathy

A professor turned brain surgery patient is offering a course on improving patient exit surveys, gaining patient compliance, easing pain, and calming fears.

"Lying still in my hospital bed, inundated with tubes and needles, aware of every interaction, but unable to respond, I experienced the best and worst of medical empathy," says Shari Bookstaff, author of Lifetime of Impact! "The drastic inconsistency in my experience as patient during many months in the hospital inspired me to refocus my career in the direction of encouraging the expression of empathy in every medical situation."

Bookstaff founded the nonprofit Lifetime of Impact to help as many health professionals as possible connect with their patients and better exhibit compassionate and empathetic treatment. Bookstaff offers Lifetime of Impact’s presentation to every Allied Health program at Skyline College, in San Bruno, CA.

This program is available virtually via Zoom, with additional online resources for students to continue. "My presentation includes personal stories about some great and not-so-great medical care I received, tips for maintaining an attitude of empathy toward patients, and empathy exercises, designed to give a very small taste of how it feels to be a helpless patient in the hospital," she said.

Continuing education credits can be earned for the course. Participants should retain the objectives and completion documentation to submit for Nebraska licensure.

To book your presentation, email Bookstaff at, or call her at 650-491-4601.