Levels of Empathy Orientation after the Implementation of a New Curriculum

Ana María Erazo-Coronado, Alfredo De la Cruz-Villa, Esther Durán-González, Felipe El Forzoli-Dau, Fernando Viaña-Bermúdez, Víctor Díaz-Narváez, Aracelis Calzadilla-Núñez


Objective: To compare the level of empathy orientation of the students in the Dentistry Program from the Universidad Metropolitana according to gender and levels of education after the implementation of a new curriculum. Material and Methods: An exploratory and transversal research was made. The studied population are the students from the first and the fifth academic year in the Dentistry Undergraduate Program from the Universidad Metropolitana (Barranquilla, Colombia) (n = 371, N = 482; 76.97% of the population) First: 92; Second: 83; Third: 60; Fourth: 71 and Fifth: 65, being females = 235 and males = 136. Data collection was done in March 2016 for the present study and in 2012.  The Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy was applied to participants. Results: For the "Academic Years" factor, the means in the first undergraduate years are similar with an increase in the last two undergraduate years; females have superior values than males. However, the behavior of these means is different when analyzing the combined levels of both factors. The female gender increases steadily in the first four years and decreases in the fifth year; The male gender goes down from first to second place and increases steadily until the fifth year surpassing the female in this last year. Conclusion: The general results obtained on empathy have improved compared to those results from 2012. The questions that obtained significant scores were those related to the cognitive component. This could be explained by the incorporation of a greater number of community activities into vulnerable population.


Dentistry; Empathy; Education, Graduate.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4034/PBOCI.2018.181.28