Effect of gender, age, and relevant course work on attitudes toward empathy, patient spirituality, and physician wellness.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: The emphasis in medical education on viewing the patient as a whole person addresses current concerns about the negative impact of standard physician training that may lead to impaired patient-physician relationships. PURPOSES: To assess self-ratings of empathy, spirituality, wellness, and tolerance in a sample of medical students and practitioners to explore differences by gender, age, and training. METHODS: A survey was created that assesses empathy, spirituality, wellness, and tolerance in the medical setting. Surveys were completed anonymously by medical students and practitioners from the medical school. RESULTS: The youngest groups scored highest on empathy and wellness and lowest on tolerance. Participation in medical school wellness sessions correlated with higher empathy and wellness scores; participation in both empathy and spirituality sessions correlated with higher empathy scores. CONCLUSION: Exposure to educational activities in empathy, philosophical values and meaning, and wellness during medical school may increase empathy and wellness in medical practice.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • DiLalla, LF; Hull, SK; Dorsey, JK; Department of Family and Community Medicine, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Carbondale 62901, USA. ldilalla@siu.edu,

Published Date

  • 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 165 - 170

PubMed ID

  • 15276893

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15276893

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1040-1334

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1207/s15328015tlm1602_8


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States