Ezekiel Emanuel Says High-Touch Not High-Tech

White House Health Care policy adviser and NIH scientist Ezekiel Emanuel discusses high touch medicine with Royal Philips Electronics CEO Gerard Kleisterlee, and Pathfinders founder Tina Staley.  Ezekiel Emanuel is at the Bioethics Dept of the National Institute of Health

Click the picture to view the video.  It’s about 5 minutes. The video is no longer available online, but his message was clear.


Ezekiel speaks directly of the importance of Face to Face communication between the medical people and the patients. It is almost like he was asked to give a testimonial for the UfaceMe approach.

Elements of every face-to-face interaction

Face-to-face interaction in it’s most basic form has certain elements which are always present: more than one person, each with at least three distinct viewpoints.


These elements comprise the dynamics of face-to-face interaction. Dyadic interactions are focused on here to illustrate the multiplicity of persons and viewpoints.

Assumptions of Similarity

Assumptions are always present and, as considered here, involve a comparison between viewpoints. For example, whenever I view you, I make an implicit comparison with how I view myself. This is an assumption of similarity or dissimilarity.

Assumptions of Familiarity

When I consider how I think you view me, I am making an implicit assumption of familiarity when that viewpoint is compared to how I actually view you. The assumption of familiarity-unfamiliarity arises from this comparison.

Assumptions of Congruence

An assumption of congruence-incongruence arises from a comparison between how I think you view me and how I view myself.

Five Steps toward a Trusting Relationship

Show up to meet face-to-face.
Showing up is over half-way there.
Walk the talk. In the sea of life, you can’t swim if you don’t get in the water.

Stand up to be noticed, to become visible.
Don’t shuffle in, don’t burst in…just show up, ready for some action.
Let yourself be looked at.
It’s true that someone said: “anyone who stands up makes a good target.”
But don’t let it stop you.
Try not to hide, to be sneaky, to be indirect, to appear so cautious that others think you don’t have anything to say.

In your own voice, not someone else’s.
Speak from your heart, trust yourself. Right or wrong, it doesn’t matter.
Be true to your own viewpoint, your own experience.
Give voice to what you observe, what you think, what you feel, what you want.
Don’t shout, don’t intimidate, don’t threaten, don’t measure what you say by what you think others want you to say.

Listen to the Other Person’s voice.
Try not to be defensive, try not to discount the other’s viewpoint.
Discover another viewpoint, just as valid, just as solid as your own.
Let yourself feel. Bite your tongue but not your heart.
If you feel pained, consider that you are considered trusting enough to be spoken to directly, honestly. Consider that your listening brings out the Other’s voice.

Sit down to slow down.
Because a world will open unto you as you are trusted to listen up,
And as you trust yourself to really speak up.
Discover the wisdom of a relational perspective:
All real living is meeting. (Connecting is what life is all about)
A bird needs two wings to fly. (trust is a two-way street)