A Model to Promote Public Health by Adding Evidence-Based, Empathy-Enhancing Programs to All Undergraduate Health-care Curricula
Fostering empathy in future health-care providers through service-learning is emerging as central to public health promotion. Patients fare better when their caregivers have higher relationship-centered characteristics such as the ones measured by the Jefferson Scale of Empathy. Unfortunately, these characteristics often deteriorate during health-care professional training. Nevertheless, growing literature documents how we can promote empathy, and other patient-centered characteristics, throughout health-care professional students’ undergraduate education. As for proven treatment plans, we believe we should also use evidence-based guidelines to foster relationship-centered characteristics in our students when training them to practice as part of an interdisciplinary health-care team.