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Studies show that when doctors practice compassion, patients fare better, and doctors experience less burnout. Cavan Images/Getty Images/Cavan Images RF hide caption

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Cavan Images/Getty Images/Cavan Images RF

"Compassion is contagious," Professor Scott Plous says. "We talk about paying it forward; the idea that if you do something good for another person [...] it sets off a kind of chain reaction." Hanna Barczyk for NPR hide caption

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Hanna Barczyk for NPR

Protesters blast the Casey Anthony verdict outside of the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Florida. Some have vented their fury at the 12-person jury. Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images hide caption

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Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images