Medical school is draining. It’s a mix of sleepless nights spent studying, a lot of student debt, massive pressure to succeed, and learning to treat difficult patients over long hours at the hospital. This recipe for mastering medicine been used to train generations of physicians, but it bakes in a problem: Over the course of their studies, medical students tend to become less empathetic.
The issue is that empathy is increasingly valued as an essential tool for physicians, says Dr. Danika Franks, assistant dean of students for the Texas Christian University-University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Medicine in Fort Worth. The new medical school’s first students started classes this summer. Franks says good medicine is more than deploying knowledge.