While medical school students gain key healing skills as their education progresses, one important quality seems to wane: empathy.According to a study from FILE – Medical students hug during a demonstration, June 5, 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah.DOs are fully licensed physicians who practice in all areas of medicine, according to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM),  and empathy is an important part of their program.“Emphasizing a whole-person approach to treatment and care, DOs are trained to listen and partner with their patients to help them get healthy and stay well,” according to the American Osteopathic Association. 
In the study, women score higher in empathy than male students, African American students score higher than white students, and Asian Americans score the lowest. But everyone shows a decline going into that third year.”As students progress through medical school, you expect FILE – A medical student from Touro University Nevada talks with a man in a temporary parking lot shelter at Cashman Center, in Las Vegas, Nevada, March 30, 2020.In the medical publication STAT, Dr. Lawrence G. Smith said the COVID-19 pandemic will result in doctors with greater degrees of empathy.“As my students and others all across the country make their rounds, they will likely notice that while an infectious disease like COVID-19 afflicts people regardless of race or wealth or education, its impact varies widely based on socioeconomic status,” Smith wrote.“Such a realization can and must change everything about the way medical students perceive their profession, as well as everything about the way future generations of physicians are trained,” he continued. 
In an email to VOA, Hojat said empathy should be considered when assessing a student’s application to medical school.“The assessment of empathy should be used as a criterion measure for the selection of medical school applicants for training caring physicians,” he said.Hojat’s most recent study was published in June in the Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. 


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