BACKGROUND: The literature indicates that medical practitioners experience declining empathy levels in clinical practice. This highlights the need to educate medical students about empathy as an attribute early in the academic curriculum. The objective of this study was to evaluate year one students' self-reported empathy levels following a 2-hour empathy workshop at a large medical school in Malaysia.
METHODS: Changes in empathy scores were examined using a paired repeated-measures t-test in this prospective before and after study.
RESULTS: Analyzing the matched data, there was a statistically significant difference and moderate effect size between mean empathy scores before and 5 weeks after the workshop (112.08±10.67 versus 117.93±13.13, P<0.0001, d=0.48) using the Jefferson Scale Physician Empathy (Student Version).
CONCLUSION: The results of this observational study indicate improved mean self-reported empathy scores following an empathy workshop.
KEYWORDS: Malaysia; empathy; medical students
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.