Is It Possible to Develop a Compassionate Organization?; Comment on “Why and How Is Compassion Necessary to Provide Good Quality Healthcare?”

Document Type : Commentary


Clinic of Social and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece


This paper represents a commentary to Marianna Fotaki’s Editorial: ‘Why and how is compassion necessary to provide good quality healthcare?’ Within this commentary, I discuss some of the issues raised by Marianna Fotaki, and conclude that we should work towards an organizational culture which considers the important concept of compassion by focusing on the well-being and teamwork of all involved.




Watch the Video Summary here



Main Subjects



  1. Fotaki M. Why and how is compassion necessary to provide good quality health care. Int J Health Policy Manag. 4(4):199-204. doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2015.66
  2. Pulse website. Accessed April 2015.
  3. Fogarty LA, Curbow BA, Wingard JR, McDonnell K, Summerfield MR. Can 40 seconds of compassion reduce patient anxiety? J Clin Oncol. 1999;17(1):371.
  4. Shaltout HA, Toozer JA, Rosenberger MA, Kemper KJ. Time, touch, and compassion: effects on autonomic nervous system and well-being. Explore. 2012;8(3):177-184. doi:10.1016/j.explore.2012.02.001
  5. Science Daily website. Accessed January 2015.
  6. Youngson R. Time to Care: How to Love Your Patients and Your Job. New Zealand; Rebelheart Publishers; 2012.
  7. Pence GE. Can compassion be taught? J Med Ethics. 1983;9:189-191. doi:10.1136/jme.9.4.189
  8. The Point of Care Foundation website.  Accessed April 2015.
  9. Schwartz Centre. Accessed March 2015.
  10. Lionis C, Shea S, Markaki A. Introducing and implementing a compassionate care effective for medical students in Crete. Journal of Holistic Health Care. 2011;8:38-41.
  11. Adamson L, Smith S. Can compassion be taught?  Experiences from the leadership in Compassionate Care Programme, Edinburgh Napier University and NHS Lothian. In: Shea S, Wynyard R, Lionis C, Eds. Providing Compassionate Healthcare: Challenges in Policy and Practice.  Oxon: Routledge; 2014.