NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1090622
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1382-4996
Reflections on Empathy in Medical Education: What Can We Learn from Social Neurosciences?
Preusche, Ingrid; Lamm, Claus
Advances in Health Sciences Education, v21 n1 p235-249 Mar 2016
The role of empathy in human social interaction has been examined in several research fields, including medical education (ME) and social neuroscience (SN). SN yields insights into empathy based on neurobiological processes, and such information may also be relevant to ME. In this reflection article, the authors first critically review current definitions and concepts of empathy in ME and link them to recent SN findings. In the light of recent evidence from SN, research in ME regarding the positive and negative effects of empathy for physicians and patients is discussed, as well as the question whether (future) physicians differ from the general population with regard to empathic skills. Commonly used SN paradigms and ME approaches to assess empathy are contrasted, a joint approach is advocated, and implications for further interdisciplinary studies are outlined. Finally, the authors delineate the contribution of SN to the question of whether empathy is teachable, and argue that SN findings represent a potential for new ME training approaches. In conclusion, the authors discuss how the incorporation of perspectives on empathy from different research areas would benefit ME, and suggest the translation and integration of such findings into ME research approaches.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A