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Building Empathy- A Cross Specialty Elective, Johns Hopkins University.pdf (737.28 kB)

Building Empathy: A Cross Specialty Elective, Johns Hopkins University

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posted on 2022-07-06, 16:21 authored by Post Discipline AdminPost Discipline Admin
Empathy has been shown to improve patient outcomes and physician satisfaction, and it is considered an essential trait of being an excellent physician. However, it is rarely explicitly taught as a concept and teachable skill. This one-week elective will focus on developing students’ empathy in medicine. The course will utilize readings, reflection, and role-plays to practice four specific skills needed for empathy: recognizing emotions, perspective-taking, mindfulness, and communication. The course builds on concepts covered in TIME and TTW, and it will cover a diverse range of clinical experiences. Examples of scenarios or diagnoses that may be covered include: medication nonadherence in primary care setting, refusal of care, delusional parasitosis, functional neurological disorder, and addiction. Students will be asked to discuss their own clinical experiences as well, and there will be a final paper based on a book of the student’s own choosing. In this way, the elective allows for personalization of content to reflect each individual student’s interests, while at the same time teaching fundamental principles and skills that are relevant to all medical students. This information has been collected for the Post-Discipline Online Syllabus Database. The database explores the use of literature by schools of professional education in North America. It forms part of a larger project titled Post-Discipline: Literature, Professionalism, and the Crisis of the Humanities, led by Dr Merve Emre with the assistance of Dr Hayley G. Toth. You can find more information about the project at Data was collected and accurate in 2021/22.


Subject Area


Geographic Region

South Atlantic

University or College

Johns Hopkins University

Funding Status


Endowment (according to NACUBO's U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20) ($1,000)


Annual Tuition and Mandatory Fees 2021-2022 ($) (Resident; Non-resident, where applicable)


Course Title

Building Empathy: A Cross Specialty Elective

Terminal Degree of Instructor(s)


Position of Instructor(s)

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Academic Year(s) Active


Course Enrolment

at least 3

Primary Works on Reading List

Selected memoirs; see syllabus.

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