When doctors show compassion, patient outcomes improve and health costs drop. Dr. Hojat, founder and creator of the Jefferson Scale of Empathy discusses the importance of empathy in patient care.
Center for Research in Medical Education & Health Care
The Center supports the SKMC faculty and administration in evaluating the knowledge, skills and professionalism of students throughout the Doctor of Medicine curriculum. Center researchers developed and maintain the Jefferson Longitudinal Study of Medical Education and instruments including the Jefferson Scale of Empathy and the Disease Staging severity classification which have been used in the US and internationally to measure medical education outcomes and physician competence, and document quality and cost of health care. The Center combines service to the Jefferson community with a broad spectrum of research studies and other externally-funded projects as described in our annual report (PDF). LEARN MORE
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The study is the first of its kind to measure and examine reported empathy levels of students from 41 different osteopathic medical colleges, branch campuses and teaching sites.
The Jefferson Scale of Empathy (JSE) was developed by Dr. Mohammadreza Hojat and his colleagues at the Center to measure empathy in physicians and other health professionals (HP - version), medical students (S - version) and health professional students (HPStudent version).
The Jefferson Longitudinal Study of Medical Education is the most comprehensive, extensive and uninterrupted tracking system of its kind maintained in a single academic medical center. It was implemented in 1970 with the intention to track all medical students at Thomas Jefferson University throughout their medical education and professional careers.
The Jefferson Scales for the Assessment of Educational and Patient Outcomes are instruments which were developed for the assessment of professional development of health professionals in-training and in-practice, and for evaluation of educational outcomes.
The Disease Staging instrument was developed to measure the problem solving skills of medical students, but was later used to document the quality and cost of care in California. Because of that work, the Center received a large federal grant to further develop the classification and stages of diseases.
The Center works with the faculty to assess the effectiveness of the curriculum and its outcomes. In addition to the Longitudinal Study of Medical Education, this support involves maintenance of cumulative data bases for preclinical examinations in ExamSoft, NBME subject examinations, clinical skills assessments and students' ratings of clerkship experiences at affiliated clinical sites. Over the past five decades this support has fostered collaboration in medical education research on issues of concern to medical educators worldwide, yielding empirical evidence published in hundreds of peer-reviewed articles.
The Center receives external funding to support its health services and policy related research and quality improvement initiatives.