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Empathy and Modern Medicine

BY: Abdul Sattar Khan | Category: Health | Submitted: 2011-12-24 20:37:38
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Article Summary: "Empathy lost somewhere in modern science so we need to find out the solution for enhancing empathy especially in medical students. It is recommended that the selection process should be reviewed and admit those who showed at least some empathy and it may enhance by including an art subject as pre-requisite high school level or m.."


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Empathy lost somewhere in modern science so we need to find out the solution for enhancing empathy especially in medical students. It is recommended that the selection process should be reviewed and admit those who showed at least some empathy and it may enhance by including an art subject as pre-requisite high school level or medical students should exposed to those situation that enhamce empathy.

In a computer science era, psychologists and socialist are not comfortable and raise voices that empathy declining overall in young population and recent researches are reinforced it. It has been blamed since the discovery of declining of empathy that young population is exposed to computers, internet and mobiles etc., and forgetting relationship with each other and instead of taking care of others, they just focus on themselveswe. Of course, the medical students also come from the same society, not grow on the trees at sky therefore we should not expect a high empathy from them.

Lets understand the word empathy from the medical point of view. The word "Empathy", has its origin in the German word Einf├╝hlung meaning, "feeling into". However the concept of empathy is pehenomenonal and has two aspects affective and cognitive. The physician empathy is an ability of a physician to understand the patient's situation, perspective and feelings, communicate that understanding and check its accuracy and act on that understanding with the patient in a helpful way.

Such empathic behavior may lead to patients' reporting more about their symptoms and concerns, physicians' increased diagnostic accuracy, patients' receiving more illness-specific information, patients' increased participation in education, patients' increased compliance and satisfaction, patients' greater enablement, and patients' reduced emotional distress and increased quality of life. This therapeutic relevance emphasizes the importance of developing and supporting physician empathic behavior during medical school and residency.

With respect to empathic behavior the new physicians not fulfilling the requirements to the satisfaction of patient and further reinforced it by many studies that self-assessed empathy declined significantly during last two decades. There are several reasons present in literature for declining empathy in medical students and one of those is that many medical universities are still following the same formula like curriculum to just a mountain of knowledge throw upon the heads of new born medical students and after completing of two to three years of basic sciences education throw them into an exhausting situation at teaching hospitals where organs and equipment are more important than human.

My point of view of on this regard that the curriculum embedded into modern medicine where high tech equipment are replacing the traditional method of diagnosis and face to face conversation converts into internet based consultation and touching to the patients shifting to robotic surgeries would not be able to cultivate empathy especially when they come from the "me-generation society".

Thus it is should be focused from the foundation at the time of influx of medical students by checking their emotional intelligence or should include one art subject in high school as a prerequisite and also engages them to certain situation even in pre-clinical years at least near to real situations that trigger their emotions for human relationship with using of all other new technology.

About Author / Additional Info:
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Comments on this article: (1 comments so far)

Comment Comment By Comment Date
Very informative and inspiring articles.May God help you in achieving your goals. Tajwer Anis 2011-12-27 00:53:38 1031

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