The Threads Among Us is a project that grew out of a desire to address the lack of empathy physicians and other members of the healthcare team often show towards one another in the workplace. The title refers to the many common threads that link individuals who enter healthcare professions together: Similar values that lead these individuals to careers in medicine; common daily stressors; and an understanding of the complex dynamics of a healthcare team.

Despite a strong emphasis placed on empathic care of patients, empathic interactions with other members of the healthcare team often takes a backseat in the form of incivility - despite those individuals being best poised to understand the challenges of the job. Incivility is defined as “low-intensity deviant behavior with ambiguous intent to harm the target.” Incivility can be overt (obvious) or covert (subtle), with the latter felt to be more common. The most common forms of covert incivility are rudeness and lack of regard for others.

The Threads Among Us project consists of a video, as well as a facilitator’s handbook for a 60-minute workshop. The intended audience includes staff physicians, non-physician providers, medical trainees, nurses, and other allied healthcare professionals. The project was supported by a generous President’s Grant from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation.