Empathy in medical education: A case for social construction

Patient Educ Couns. 2017 Apr;100(4):785-787. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2016.10.027. Epub 2016 Oct 31.


In this brief review, we build upon suggestions in Pedersen's [1] excellent critical review of empathy research in medical education and make the case for an increase in social constructivist scholarship related to emotions and empathy within medical education contexts. In the process, we define social construction, as well as provide several key opportunities in which these types of theories could provide insights for medical educators.

Keywords: Emotional socialization; Empathy; Medical education; Qualitative methods; Social constructivism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical*
  • Emotions*
  • Empathy*
  • Humans
  • Patient Care / psychology*