The difference between empathy and sympathy

Paul Levy
Paul Levy, Host of (Not) Running a Hospital

By Paul Levy

First Posted at Not Running a Hospital on 12/19/2013

Paul Levy, Host of (Not) Running a Hospital
Paul Levy, Host of (Not) Running a Hospital

As I head off into a blogging break through New Year’s Day, I pass along this view by Dr. Brené Brown of the difference between empathy and sympathy, a distinction that those of us in the health care world would be wise to understand. “Empathy fuels connection. Sympathy drives disconnection.”

Animation by Katy Davis.Happy New Year!


  1. This is such a well done animated video. Dr. Brown’s cadence and humor combined with Ms. Davis’ graphic animation is stupendous. Happy to share.

  2. Love this 3 minute video with simple,yet important take aways, such as you rarely make things better with a remark that starts with “at least” – as in response to my marriage falling apart, a friend says “at least you have a marriage!” Thanks, Paul for sharing this.