Title

Relationship Between Medical Student Service and Empathy

Publication/Presentation Date

10-2011

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Student participation in service activities during medical school is believed to enhance student professionalism and empathy. Yet, there are no studies that measure medical student empathy levels in relation to service activities.

METHOD: Medical students from four classes (2007-2010) were surveyed at graduation using the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy-Student Version and questions about service activity during medical school. For two classes, empathy scores were also obtained at orientation. The data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. Means comparison tests were performed.

RESULTS: Mean empathy scores at graduation were higher for students who participated in service activities compared with those who reported no service (115.18 versus 107.97, P < .001). At orientation, students with no service had lower empathy scores, and those with any service had higher empathy scores.

CONCLUSIONS: Student empathy and service activities during medical school are related. This may have implications for admissions committees.

Volume

86

Issue

10 Suppl

First Page

42

Last Page

45

ISSN

1938-808X

Disciplines

Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Primary Care

PubMedID

21955767

Document Type

Article