Author(s): Ali Cyrus, Bahman Salehi, Mahdyieh Naziri, Bahman Sadeghi Sedeh, Rana Vosoulie
Patient-physician communication is an essential part of clinical practice that if it works well, it creates a therapeutic effect for patients. We aimed to evaluate and investigate if gender, age, grade, marriage and specialized field affected empathy scores among trainees, interns and resident physicians. A cross-sectional survey was performed among a total of 215 medical students in practical stage and resident physicians in Iran/Arak University of Medical Sciences responded to the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy (JSPE) questionnaire over 6 months in 2016. In addition, the participants were anonymously monitored to assess actual empathy levels. 215 participants completed the JSPE questionnaire (mean age 27 ± 5.2 years, 94 43.7%] males). Analysis showed that students had lower mean empathy score (mean= 98.08) than other countries. Results confirmed that there is an association between empathy and gender and marriage (p<0.05).Females and married students showed higher levels of empathy than other participants. The empathy of participants in an observation condition was much lower than what they had stated. In our survey, medical students had significantly low empathy level; therefore cultural education and professionalism training is needed. Although treatment is more important than empathy, empathy has a therapeutic effect for patients.
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