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Walking a mile in their patients' shoes: empathy and othering in medical students' education

Overview of attention for article published in Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine, January 2008
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (83rd percentile)

Mentioned by

twitter
10 tweeters
facebook
1 Facebook page

Citations

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127 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
248 Mendeley
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1 CiteULike
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Title
Walking a mile in their patients' shoes: empathy and othering in medical students' education
Published in
Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine, January 2008
DOI 10.1186/1747-5341-3-10
Pubmed ID
Authors

Johanna Shapiro

Abstract

One of the major tasks of medical educators is to help maintain and increase trainee empathy for patients. Yet research suggests that during the course of medical training, empathy in medical students and residents decreases. Various exercises and more comprehensive paradigms have been introduced to promote empathy and other humanistic values, but with inadequate success. This paper argues that the potential for medical education to promote empathy is not easy for two reasons: a) Medical students and residents have complex and mostly unresolved emotional responses to the universal human vulnerability to illness, disability, decay, and ultimately death that they must confront in the process of rendering patient care b) Modernist assumptions about the capacity to protect, control, and restore run deep in institutional cultures of mainstream biomedicine and can create barriers to empathic relationships. In the absence of appropriate discourses about how to emotionally manage distressing aspects of the human condition, it is likely that trainees will resort to coping mechanisms that result in distance and detachment. This paper suggests the need for an epistemological paradigm that helps trainees develop a tolerance for imperfection in self and others; and acceptance of shared emotional vulnerability and suffering while simultaneously honoring the existence of difference. Reducing the sense of anxiety and threat that are now reinforced by the dominant medical discourse in the presence of illness will enable trainees to learn to emotionally contain the suffering of their patients and themselves, thus providing a psychologically sound foundation for the development of true empathy.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 10 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 248 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Italy 3 1%
United Kingdom 2 <1%
Australia 1 <1%
Ireland 1 <1%
Switzerland 1 <1%
Indonesia 1 <1%
Brazil 1 <1%
Colombia 1 <1%
Canada 1 <1%
Other 3 1%
Unknown 233 94%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 40 16%
Student > Ph. D. Student 36 15%
Student > Master 30 12%
Other 21 8%
Student > Doctoral Student 19 8%
Other 72 29%
Unknown 30 12%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 87 35%
Social Sciences 31 13%
Psychology 30 12%
Nursing and Health Professions 12 5%
Arts and Humanities 7 3%
Other 38 15%
Unknown 43 17%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 8. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 09 February 2019.
All research outputs
#2,775,931
of 16,307,759 outputs
Outputs from Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine
#99
of 198 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#21,476
of 129,476 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine
#1
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 16,307,759 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 82nd percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 198 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 13.3. This one is in the 49th percentile – i.e., 49% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 129,476 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 83% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them