Want a compassionate response from a doctor? You may want to ask ChatGPT instead

ChatGPT's responses outperform doctors in both empathy and quality, according to a study.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
ChatGPT on laptop
Photo Illustration by Stanislav Kogiku/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

If you're consulting a doctor, it's likely that you're worried about a particular aspect of your health, and you would probably want your doctor to show you empathy when addressing your concerns. 

That's where ChatGPT can outshine a doctor.

A study published by the JAMA Internal Medicine journal, shows that ChatGPT can provide answers for patient health-related questions with more empathy and quality than a doctor can. 

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The study used 195 questions posted by users onto Reddit's 'r/AskDocs' thread, which were answered by verified physicians. Those same questions were then inserted into ChatGPT.

The responses from both the physicians and ChatGPT were then compared by a team of health professionals who chose which response was better and gave quality designations to both. 

The results were surprising. 

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According to the study, out of the 195 questions and responses, the evaluators chose chatbot responses over physician responses in 78.6% of the 585 evaluations. 

The study found that the chatbot's responses were typically longer, higher in quality and more empathetic than those from the physicians. 

Specifically, the study found that the physician responses were 41% less empathetic than those of the chatbot. 

Chart showing the study's results
JAMA Internal Medicine

The study's results suggest that an AI chatbot may be useful in assisting physicians in drafting responses to patients' questions. 

This solution would benefit both healthcare professionals and patients. Professionals would save time generating longer, high-quality responses while patients would receive better responses to put their concerns at ease. 

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