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Empathy and Surgery with Dr Christopher Maguire

Updated: Apr 22


Episode 20 - The Professional Empathy Podcast

Empathy and Surgery with Dr Christopher Maguire

Listen on Podomatic or on your favourite podcast platform (Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Google)

On this episode of The Empathy Podcast we discuss empathy and mental health in the Surgical Profession with Paediatric Surgical Registrar Dr Christopher Maguire. Dr Maguire discusses his own personal experiences and how empathy is a vital part of the patient / doctor relationship. We hope you enjoy this informative, engaging and inspiring episode of The Empathy Podcast. Links from today's discussion

Show notes - Empathy and Surgery

Join Leanne Butterworth and Dr. Christopher Maguire as they delve into the intricate world of surgery, uncovering the transformative power of empathy and its vital role in shaping compassionate healthcare practices.


- Host Leanne Butterworth welcomes listeners to an engaging episode focusing on empathy in surgery.

- Introduces Dr. Christopher Maguire, a paediatric surgical registrar, and his unique perspective on the topic.

**Understanding Surgeon's Pressures:**

- Dr. Maguire sheds light on the multifaceted pressures experienced by surgeons, including emotional, professional, and time-related challenges.

- Explores the often unseen aspects of a surgeon's daily life and the toll it can take on their well-being.

**Challenging Stereotypes on TikTok:**

- Discusses Dr. Maguire's unexpected presence on TikTok and its role in challenging stereotypes within the medical field.

- Highlights a video debunking the myth of needing high intelligence to become a doctor, sparking a positive response and encouraging open conversations.

**The Three Dimensions of Empathy:**

- Delves into the concept of empathy in surgery, addressing its three key dimensions: empathy for patients, colleagues, and oneself.

- Explores the intricate dynamics of building trust and connecting with patients within a limited timeframe.

**Strategies for Trust-building:**

- Dr. Maguire shares practical strategies employed by surgeons to establish trust with patients quickly.

- Highlights the role of body language, tone of voice, and communication techniques in fostering meaningful connections.

**Importance of Self-Care:**

- Explores the essential aspect of self-care in a surgeon's life, discussing the delicate balance between dedication to patients and maintaining personal well-being.

- Acknowledges the demanding nature of the profession and the need for practitioners to prioritize their mental and physical health.

**Addressing Mental Health Stigma:**

- Opens up a conversation about the stigma surrounding mental health within the medical community.

- Dr. Maguire emphasizes the importance of open dialogue, recognizing that seeking support should not be seen as a sign of weakness.

**Empathy's Transformative Impact:**

- Reflects on the profound role of empathy in shaping the practice of surgery and its potential to improve patient care.

- Dr. Maguire discusses the growing recognition of the interplay between empathy, mental health, and overall well-being.


- Concludes the episode by summarising key takeaways about empathy's significance in the surgical field.

- Encourages listeners to engage in discussions about empathy, mental health, and self-care within the medical profession.

Useful Links


Hi! I'm Leanne Butterworth, Empathy Educator, TEDx Speaker, University Lecturer and Mental Health Advocate.

Empathy First is a Brisbane-based social enterprise offering Empathy workshops, online courses and individual Empathy coaching to help you build connection and strengthen your relationships for personal and professional success.

Contact me today and let's talk about how you can put Empathy First.

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