Carsten Thiel realizes that empathy is important to succeed in treating patients

It is true that a businessperson needs to rely heavily on analytical skills and decision-making based upon logic. However, many times empathy and human understanding can be just as essential. Carsten Thiel found this to be true in the pharmaceutical marketing field.

Thiel has had a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry and is responsible for multiple successful launches of products within the pharmaceutical market. However, one specific incident had taught him the importance of empathy within a patient-centric approach. This episode has stuck with him ever since.

The incident occurred in 2015 when Thiel was launching a new product designed for treating hypophosphatasia, which is a genetic bone disease which starts manifesting in utero, causing babies to be born without proper bone structures. This resulted in children not being able to breathe without ventilation support due to a lack of a functioning ribcage.

The new treatment for hypophosphatasia required an injection which needed to be administered to the patient three to six times weekly. However, it was essential for all injections to be completed in a timely manner in order for the treatment to be successful. The challenge was that many children are scared of needles which can make it difficult to administer the treatment.

Thiel began to experiment with a psychological technique to overcome this issue. He had a nurse team use the “buddy concept” to help a young boy overcome his fear of needles. The team brought in a younger girl and administered the treatment in front of the boy. This helped the boy realize that if the younger girl can tolerate the treatment, he can as well.

This incident helped Thiel come to an important realization which would help him in many more of his business endeavors. He had realized that having empathy for patients and tending to their psychological needs could be just as important as having the right drug to treat an ailment.

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