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Positive feedback: a missing prescription for improving medicine

Finding ways to give employed doctors more positive feedback can improve their work and combat the epidemic of physician burnout.
Positive feedback from patients often doesn't get to the other person that matters — a physician's supervisor.

As the only physician attending a leadership seminar inspired by a course at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, I was curious to learn what goals my executive colleagues had for the weekend session. Many wanted to practice giving feedback to their employees in ways that engendered results but didn’t foment anger, sadness, or alienation in the employee.

The seminar leader told us that frequent encouragement early in the employer-employee relationship helps establish the bed of trust and support needed before giving negative feedback. We learned that empathy and warmth in leaders produces better results from employees. The seminar participants practiced giving feedback on each other, with lots of expressions of appreciation for what the recipient of

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