We all know our health care system doesn’t work very well and that it often harms patients. A more subtle point is that for the same reasons, it harms doctors, who came to the profession to do more than they’re typically able to. We can talk about this so that patients and doctors have more empathy for each other.

Empathy is a key requirement for design thinking. Mutual empathy may be a formula for various kinds of collaborative design, but I can’t imagine a more important example than patients and doctors designing better health care together. Maybe an equally important example: patients and researchers better understanding each other and designing better research together. (Thank you Michael Seid for accidentally explaining this to me.)