The limits of empathy: Problems in medical education and practice

Smajdor, Anna, Stöckl, Andrea and Salter, Charlotte (2011) The limits of empathy: Problems in medical education and practice. Journal of Medical Ethics, 37 (6). pp. 380-383. ISSN 0306-6800

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Empathy is commonly regarded as an essential attribute for doctors and there is a conviction that empathy must be taught to medical students. Yet it is not clear exactly what empathy is, from a philosophical or sociological point of view, or whether it can be taught. The meaning, role and relevance of empathy in medical education have tended to be unquestioningly assumed; there is a need to examine and contextualise these assumptions. This paper opens up that debate, arguing that 'empathy', as it is commonly understood, is neither necessary nor sufficient to guarantee good medical or ethical practice.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: clinical competence,curriculum,education, medical,empathy,female,humans,male,physician-patient relations,physicians,students, medical
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Users 2731 not found.
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2012 15:06
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2022 14:30
DOI: 10.1136/jme.2010.039628

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