Fostering empathy in clinical teaching and learning environments: A unified approach

Samra, Rajvinder and Jones, Emma (2019). Fostering empathy in clinical teaching and learning environments: A unified approach. Australian Journal of Clinical Education (In Press).

Abstract

This paper draws together broad insights into the notion of empathy generally with specific lessons learned from current approaches to empathy within both law and medicine. The role of empathy is becoming more central to modern professionalism in both fields as they demonstrate a movement towards partnership-building, with an emphasis on patient-centred decision-making in medicine and more holistic, personalised client care within law. The paper’s aim is to identify key principles to inform the development of a unified approach to the inclusion of empathy within clinical teaching and learning environments. These principles can then be used as a basis to highlight and share best practice and consider common challenges and opportunities, as well as being drawn upon by those working within interdisciplinary clinical partnerships. Identifying and exploring key principles will assist in ensuring that empathy is acknowledged and utilised in a psychologically and emotionally healthy and appropriate manner to benefit the students, clients, patients and other stakeholders involved.

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