Document Type : Original Article


1 Clinical Education Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Cognitive Neuroscience Research Center for Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Center for Educational Research in Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Clinical Education Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran,


BACKGROUND: A doctor–patient relationship built on the concept of empathy is so essential to
attain the best clinical outcomes in medicine. Since empathy has a positive role in interpersonal
relationships and medical outcomes, its assessment is highly crucial. The aim of this study was to
assess the empathy in last‑year medical students using the Persian version of the Jefferson Scale
of Physician Empathy (JSPE) and correlate empathy scores with demographic features.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this cross‑sectional study, last‑year medical students at Shiraz
Medical School, Shiraz, Iran, were recruited for this study. In this research, we used the Persian
version of JSPE. The validity and reliability of the Persian version of this tool were confirmed in the
previous research. For the analysis of data, we employed descriptive statistics and the independent
sample t‑test.
RESULTS: One hundred and eighty‑five final‑year medical students were included in this study.
The maximum score of the questionnaire was 140, and the total mean score of empathy was
98.15 ± 13.29. The females’ total mean score (102.05 ± 11.89) was higher than the males’
score (93.57 ± 13.46). The difference between the mean score of gender and empathy was
significant (P value <.001), but there was no significant difference between empathy and the two
other demographic factors (P > 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Although physicians would gain the essential characteristics of empathy during their
career, attending professors and other responsible policymakers in medical education should focus
more on the factors related to physicians’ empathy to train better and more professional physicians.


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