Many regard empathy as a critical component of comprehensive health care. Much interest has been generated in the field of medical empathy, in particular as it relates to education. Many desirable outcomes correlate with perceived empathy during the patient encounter, but paradoxically, empathy levels have been reported to decline during the years of medical education. Several new approaches have been described in the literature that intend to teach or develop empathy skills in health-care students.
PubMed, PsycINFO, and Google Scholar databases were searched for the terms empathy education, medical education, medical student, podiatric medical education, medical empathy, compassion, emotional intelligence, biopsychosocial model, and bedside manner. After implementing inclusion and exclusion criteria, articles were selected for preparation of a literature review. Analysis of the podiatric medical education on empathy was conducted by reviewing descriptions of all courses listed on each of the nine US podiatric medical schools' Web sites. The 2018 Curricular Guide for Podiatric Medical Education was analyzed.
In this review, we examine the current state of empathy from a context of medical education in general, followed by a specific analysis in podiatric medicine. We define key terms, describe the measuring of empathy in medicine, explore outcomes of empathy in the health-care setting, review the reports of a decline in medical education, and highlight some of the current efforts to develop the skill in education. An overview of empathy in the podiatric medical curriculum is presented.
To improve the quality of care that physicians provide, a transformation in podiatric medical education is necessary. A variety of tools are available for education reform with the target of developing empathy skills in podiatric medical students.
In the podiatric medicine profession, there are a variety of manual tasks that require precision and skill beyond what would be usually expected in everyday living. It is the expectation of employers, regulatory bodies, and the public that graduating podiatric physicians sufficiently meet certain minimum competencies for that profession, including those for manual skills. However, teaching and evaluation methods seem to be inconsistent between countries, institutions, and programs. This may be the consequence of uncertainty regarding the safest and most effective methods to do so. A review of available international literature pertaining to psychomotor learning across a range of health professions was undertaken. As a result of this broad review, we present herein the available evidence and make recommendations for the teaching of psychomotor skills in the podiatric medicine profession. Specific aspects considered important include methods of teaching, practice, and feedback.
The Use of Rubrics in the Clinical Evaluation of Podiatric Medical Students
Objectification of the Subjective Experience
Background: We assessed the differences in podiatric medical students' clinical professionalism objective scores (CPOSs) by comparing a previous nonrubric evaluation tool with a more recently implemented objective-centered rubric evaluation tool. This type of study has never been performed or reported on in the podiatric medical education literature.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of 89 third-year podiatric medical students between academic years 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. A Pearson correlation coefficient analysis was performed to compare CPOSs from the students' first (CPOS1) and second (CPOS2) rotations. A correlation analysis was performed comparing students' grade point averages (GPAs) with each of the individual CPOSs to verify the validity of the rubric evaluation tool.
Results: The Pearson correlation coefficients for the relationship between 2012 CPOS1 and CPOS2 and GPA were r = 0.233 (P ≤ .093) and r = 0.290 (P < .035) and for the relationship between 2013 CPOS1 and CPOS2 and GPA were r = 0.525 (P = .001) and r = 0.730 (P < .001).
Conclusions: These findings suggest that the use of a rubric in the evaluation of podiatric medical students' CPOSs is correlated with their GPAs, and CPOS2 demonstrated a higher correlation than CPOS1. We believe that implementation of the rubric evaluation tool has increased the accuracy of the evaluation of podiatric medical students with respect to CPOSs.
The Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine is negotiating with the College of Business Administration at Kent State University to establish a dual Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM)/Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Of the nine colleges of podiatric medicine in the nation, there are two schools that have a joint DPM/MBA program listed in their catalogue, but no joint program was operational at the time this survey was conducted. A telephone survey of the other eight podiatric medical colleges was conducted to obtain that information. This survey was used to assess further data for the exploration of a dual DPM/MBA program at Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine.
A survey was sent out to 38 individuals who possessed both a DPM and an MBA degree. They responded to questions about why they obtained the business degree, how they are using their business degree, what courses in the MBA program are most relevant, and whether they would recommend that DPM students pursue a dual degree.
The majority of respondents indicated that they obtained an MBA degrees to gain a better understanding of the marketplace, to increase their income, and to better manage a podiatric medical practice. The respondents were generally very happy to have obtained their MBA degree and would encourage a dual-degree option. They admitted that a minor or series of courses with a business focus may be helpful to a DPM student who did not opt for an MBA degree.
The positive survey results from respondents encourage continued research into a dual-degree DPM/MBA program. During research for a DPM/MBA degree, we feel a DPM with an MBA degree will allow our students to be better prepared for leadership roles within their community and administrative positions and to have a deeper understanding of the business of health care.