Medical Students Are Losing Touch With Their Own Empathy

Empathy is the cornerstone of compassionate and effective patient care, though the concept is more often seen as an abstract ideal rather than as a definitive principle of patient-physician interaction.  This topic is frequently at the center of discussions surrounding medical ethics, as it is an ever-evolving human concern that affects both doctors and patients, inside hospital walls and during everyday life.

Given the amount of discourse, it is surprising that empathy and compassion are  topics most doctors don’t recall openly discussing since their ethics class in medical school. Holding onto that fundamental human value appears to be the greatest ongoing challenge every medical student faces during their rigorous journey towards becoming the doctors of tomorrow.

 

BY JOSEPH BRYANT