Characterizing changes in student empathy throughout medical school.

BACKGROUND:

Empathy is important in the physician-patient relationship. Prior studies suggest that medical student empathy declines with clinical training.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

Self-reported empathy for patients, a possibly critical factor in high-quality patient-centered care, wanes as students advance in clinical training, particularly among those entering technology-oriented specialties. In the era of new health care policy and primary care shortages, our research may have implications for the medical education system and admission policy.

 

Chen DC, Kirshenbaum DS, Yan J, Kirshenbaum E, Aseltine RH.