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F1000Res. 2013 Jul 16;2:157. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.2-157.v1. eCollection 2013.

Maintenance of empathy levels among first and final year medical students: a cross sectional study.

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Ziauddin Medical University, Karachi, Pakistan.
Department of Psychiatry, Ziauddin Medical University, Karachi, Pakistan.



The purpose of this study was to quantify the levels of empathy amongst medical students in the first year and final year of the medical curriculum at a medical university in Karachi, Pakistan.


A cross-sectional study, comprising of participating students in their first year and final year of the medical curriculum at Ziauddin University Medical College, was carried out, using the Empathy Quotient (EQ) scale consisting of 60 questions through a self-administered questionnaire. The results were collected anonymously over a time period of six months from a sample of 171 participants. Results : According to our analysis, we found 82.67% of fifth year students and 80.21% of first years showing average or above average levels of empathy. Female mean scores were 42±9.60 while males were 38.7±9.358 (P=0.03). No association was found between empathy and age of the participants (p=0.77).


We found no significant difference in the levels of empathy between the first and fifth year medical students. However, it was shown that females exhibited higher levels of empathy than males.

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