Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Eroding empathy

Med students were monitored over time via a physician empathy scale. The findings:

Statistical analyses showed that empathy scores did not change significantly during the first two years of medical school. However, a significant decline in empathy scores was observed at the end of the third year which persisted until graduation....

Conclusions: It is concluded that a significant decline in empathy occurs during the third year of medical school. It is ironic that the erosion of empathy occurs during a time when the curriculum is shifting toward patient-care activities; this is when empathy is most essential.

Ironic but intuitive.

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