Clinical Examiners, Simulated Patients, and Student Self-assessed Empathy in Medical Students During a Psychiatry Objective Structured Clinical Examination

ObjectivesThis study aims to assess and compare objective and subjective scores of empathy in final-year medical students by using firstly a validated student self-assessment just prior to the psychiatry objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), and then comparing this to clinical examiner’s and simulated patient’s (SP’s) assessments of empathy of students using a Global Rating of Empathy scale (GRE) during a psychiatry OSCE.


In 2011, all final-year medical students in the University College Dublin were invited to complete a subjective, self-assessed empathy questionnaire (The Jefferson scale of physician empathy—student version (JSPE-S)).

They were also assessed for empathy in four OSCEs by the clinical examiner and the SP acting in that OSCE scenario.

SPs may be valid assessors of empathy
in medical students during
an OSCE.