Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 506–508 | Cite as

Teaching Empathy During Clerkship and Residency

  • Rashi AggarwalEmail author
  • Nicole Guanci
Column: Educational Case Report

Empathy has been recognized as a cornerstone of the doctor-patient relationship [1]. However, while medical students often start their training with idealism, a number of studies have found a decrease in empathy towards the latter part of medical education [2, 3, 4]. Many strategies for teaching empathy to students and residents have been proposed and studied. These strategies address different aspects of empathy—emotive, moral, cognitive, and behavioral [5]. In a review by Stepien and Baernstein, interpersonal skills workshops, audiotape workshops, and communications skills workshops lasting between 3 and 16 h showed statistically significant improvements in pre- and post-training assessments [6]. However, the improvements did not create a lasting impact on empathic skills, suggesting that reinforcement of these skills is necessary. Some authors have suggested that in order to create a lasting impact, empathy training should be a standardized component of medical education, with...



On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolNewarkUSA

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