Necessity of the course: Empathy becomes increasingly crucial in medical practice and during doctor patient encounters. It might be the next revolution in health care (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BKN7RFhdq4). About 100 medical schools in Europe, according to the Tuning-Medicine Project, agreed that each medical graduate should be able to empathize their patients, to see the world through their patients' eyes as if he/ she was him/ her, without losing the 'as if" condition- (empathy, https://www.tuning-medicine.com/pdf/booklet.pdf, page 17, Professional attribute 4). Medical graduate's learning outcomes, formed after long process of the network of 100 medical schools MEDINE, voted on by the general meeting and validated by an external panel of experts and presented to the European Commission of the European Union (where the above , pages 9-11). In light of this, teaching empathy is an obligation of our department. An elective course does not fully cover our obligation is, but we need to start in this way, even in a pilot phase.
Objectives of the course: Reconceptualization of the core mission of medicine, identifying the patient as a whole. The global approach of the importance of the doctor patient relationship, the awareness of the obstacles occurred while trying to build a trustful relationship with the patients, the core elements which facilitate the empathic responses. Person-centered, and not disease-centered philosophy of medicine, and the identification of this newly established dimension during doctor patient encounters among validated bibliographic sources.
Contents of the course: The importance of the communication skills and the non-verbal communication. Theory of the person-centered approach and the basic principles of the person-centered medicine. Techniques while conducting a person-centered interview and medical history taking. Medical empathy. Theory of bereavement and breaking bad news techniques empathetically.
Teaching Methods: 60-hour experiential seminar, separated in three 20-hour workshops, approximately three weeks apart from each other. The course is taught in a completely experiential way. No further study needed. Theory and practice are mixed and students integrate the theoretic components through experience. Encounter groups, personal growth experiential exercises, case studies, study groups, role play (group of three students) are the didactic approaches. Strictly limited places available: 18 students per semester.
Learning outcomes: At the end of the course students should be able to listen actively, to identify the non-verbal components of the patients' behavior, to empathize with them and their relatives, their colleagues and their own selves as well, to identify patients' concerns and the stress factors of their patients and record them, to conduct a person-centered interview. Students should be able to trace and not disenfranchise the emotional and effective elements that each patient deals with while suffering from a disease and build a trustful, secure and empathic relationship. Last but not least, students should be able to relate meaningfully and respectfully with their patients, identifying at the same time their own needs and boundaries avoiding the burnout possibilities.
Teaching hours per student: 60
Teaching Semester: 7th