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Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 26–30 | Cite as

The Challenge of Empathy

A Pilot Study of the Use of Standardized Patients to Teach Introductory Psychopathology to Medical Students
  • Lois E. Krahn
  • John Michael Bostwick
  • Bruce Sutor
  • Mark W. Olsen
Research Article

Abstract

This pilot study compares standardized and actual psychiatric patients used to teach introductory psychopathology. In a blinded manner, students and psychiatric faculty interviewed both types of patients, using a small group format. Before and after the course, students and faculty completed a questionnaire about expectations and effectiveness. Students were divided in their opinions of standardized patients but generally preferred actual patients. Faculty were initially noncommittal, but after the course they strongly preferred actual patients. Although standardized patients offer some advantages over actual patients, limitations included difficulty developing empathy. Standardized patients could potentially be trained to convey emotions realistically, but further study of this is needed.

Keywords

Anorexia Nervosa Actual Patient Academic Psychiatry Caucasian Woman Standardize Patient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lois E. Krahn
    • 1
  • John Michael Bostwick
    • 1
  • Bruce Sutor
    • 1
  • Mark W. Olsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and PsychologyMayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic and FoundationRochesterUSA

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