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Pak J Med Sci. 2017 Sep-Oct;33(5):1177-1181. doi: 10.12669/pjms.335.13074.

Changes in Empathy during Medical Education: An Example from Turkey.

Author information

1
Fusun Artiran Igde, Associate Professor, Ondokuz Mayis University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, Samsun, Turkey.
2
Mustafa Kursat Sahin, Assistant Professor, Ondokuz Mayis University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, Samsun, Turkey.

Abstract

Objective:

Empathy is a key element of patient- physician communication; it is relevant to and positively influences patients' health. In this study we aimed to present the Turkey example for the empathy change during the medical faculty training.

Methods:

This cross-sectional study was carried out at Ondokuz Mayis University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, Samsun, Turkey. in first three years students of medicine during September 2014 to June 2015. Turkish adapted form of the student version of Jefferson empathy scale and sociodemographic questionnaire was used and data was assessed with the SPSS program.

Results:

Total 511 students (52.5% female, 47.5% male), from first three years of medical faculty participated in the study. Two hundred thirty three (44.5%) students were from the First Year class, while 130 (27.1%) and 148 (28.4%) of them were from Second and Third Year respectively. The mean age was 20.63±2.73 years. Significant differences in the empathy scores were observed among first three years in medical school as like as between gender.

Conclusion:

Although medical schools tend to raise students with higher empathy levels, medical education itself is more scientific based than humanistic approach, and makes medical students more tough and insensitive to the problems of patients. Patient-centered approach and empathy training should be implemented in the curriculum during whole medical education.

KEYWORDS:

Empathy; JSE; Medical students; Turkey

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