More Medical Schools Emphasizing 'Compassionate Care'

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Until recently, few medical schools taught what most of us call "bedside manner," the ability to empathize and compassionately care for patients. Even fewer schools considered prospective candidates on their ability to communicate with patients. But now a growing number of medical schools are evaluating students through the Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) in addition to M-CAT scores and grade point average. The MMI tests for ethical reasoning and communication ability. 

The MMI is just one way that medical schools are now emphasizing compassionate care. Many schools have also restructured their curriculum to include training on doctor-patient communication. 

Dr. Harold Reiter, professor of medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, helped develop the MMI. Dr. William Branch, professor of medicine and director of general internal medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, focuses on teaching compassionate care in medical school.


Dr. William Branch and Dr. Harold Reiter

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [1]

Helene Eisman Fisher from Congers, NY

This was a great discussion, and the START of a conversation that needs to be taking place, i.e., improving communication between health care providers and patients. But patients also need to learn how (and what) to communicate to their providers: their medical histories, what medications they are taking; what they understand and what they don't... In this complex and sometimes dysfunction health care system, patients need to step up and help their doctors help them.

Jul. 13 2011 02:43 PM

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