More Medical Schools Emphasizing 'Compassionate Care'

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Until recently, few medical schools taught what most of us call "bedside manner," the ability to empathize and compassionately care for patients. Even fewer schools considered prospective candidates on their ability to communicate with patients. But now a growing number of medical schools are evaluating students through the Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) in addition to M-CAT scores and grade point average. The MMI tests for ethical reasoning and communication ability. 

The MMI is just one way that medical schools are now emphasizing compassionate care. Many schools have also restructured their curriculum to include training on doctor-patient communication. 

Dr. Harold Reiter, professor of medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, helped develop the MMI. Dr. William Branch, professor of medicine and director of general internal medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, focuses on teaching compassionate care in medical school.