Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 96–98 | Cite as

The Role of Empathy in Medical Students’ Choice of Specialty

  • Harold H. Harsch
Brief Report


The role of empathy in medical students’ postgraduate training interest was studied. The level of empathy, as measured by the Hogan Empathy Scale, was not found to be a discriminating factor in career selection. Students interested in psychiatry had empathy levels similar to other groups of students. Although empathy has been suggested as a possible discriminating variable among medical school candidates, individuals with high and low empathy scores were found to be interested in every field of practice. Further studies are needed before measurement of empathy is used in the selection process for medical school admission.


Medical Student Specialty Choice Empathy Score Medical School Admission Postgraduate Medical Training 
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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harold H. Harsch
    • 1
  1. 1.department of psychiatry at the Medical College of WisconsinUSA

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