Chulalongkorn Medical Journal


Background : Empathy is considered as a crucial part of a doctor’s profession thatshould be mastered by medical graduates. Recently, however, many studiesreported the medical students’ empathy declines during their time atmedical school. Thus, the development of empathy in the period of formaleducation is essential. The involvement of factor such as motivation formedical education might play a role in the development of empathy.Objective : To evaluate the relationship between empathy and motivation for medicaleducation among medical students.Methods : This descriptive prospective study was conducted regarding first to fifthyear medical students of the Faculty of Medicine Vajira Hospital, Thailand(n = 215). We used the Jefferson Scale of Empathy-Student Version tomeasure empathy and the Strength of Motivation for Medical School (SMMS)questionnaire to determine students’ motivation for medical education.The data were statistically analyzed by SPSS program.Results : The results showed that the empathy score was positively correlated tomotivation for medical education score (r = 0.226, P = 0.001). Mean scoresof empathy and SMMS were 102 ± 12.34 (maximum = 140) and 51.85 ±7.76 (maximum = 75), respectively. SMMS score detected significantdifference between first and third year medical student (P < 0.05). However,educational level, GPA, and gender were not found related to the twoconcepts.Conclusion : Our study provides an empirical evidence to support the contention thatlevel of empathy is positively-related to motivation for medical educationin medical student.


Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University

First Page


Last Page