OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to compare empathy levels between first year and second year medical students at a Malaysian University.
SETTING: A Malaysian University offering undergraduate medicine.
PARTICIPANTS: 204 undergraduate medical students were included in the data analysis (122 first years, and 102 second years).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Self-reported empathy scores using the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy (Student Version) JSPE-S.
RESULTS: The mean empathy score for first year students was 112.1(SD=10.7). This was significantly higher (p<0.038; d=0.31) than second year students (mean=108.8, SD=10.4). No significant difference relating to gender was identified.
CONCLUSION: Cross-sectional results from this study found that that there were differences in self-reported empathy scores between year one and year two students. Further research is required to ascertain if these differences are maintained as students' progress thought their medical degree, and whether other factors such as internships, medical rotations or clinical supervision have any impact of medical students' empathy levels.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.