EMPATHY AND SYMPATHY AMONG MEDICAL STUDENTS: CHANGING TRENDS
Objectives: There is general belief that empathy is crucial for the physician-patient relationship and thus an important issue in medical education. This comparative study was designed to establish the changing attitude in empathy and sympathy among the first year, second year and final year medical students.
Methodology: A comparative study among 100 first year, 100 second year and 75 final year medical students was conducted in Government Kilpauk medical college Chennai from January 2012 to June 2012. The study subjects were selected using simple random sampling technique from the list of the students. Study participation was voluntary.
Results: Out of the total 275 students, according to our analysis, we found 82.67% of final year students and 80.21% of second year students and 40% showing average or above average levels of empathy. Sympathy scores of final year, second year and first year students were 32%, 40%, and 80% respectively.
Conclusion: The results of our study show that students in the first year have higher sympathy levels, students in their second year and final year had higher empathy levels compared to first year students andÂ final year students had highest empathy levels.
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