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Medical Education

Institute scientists will conduct empirical research into the most effective mechanisms that enable physicians to demonstrate compassion and practice greater empathy. Gathering and providing this empirical data to educators will inform educators about curricular design, enable them to better assess how to improve where needed, and aid them in piloting interventions and assessing results. This collaboration will allow educators to incorporate ever more effective training strategies into the curriculum at UC San Diego, providing future doctors with enhanced tools to harness their skills in compassionately caring for patients.

Steven Garfin, MD, interim dean of the UC San Diego School of Medicine, noted that the Sanford gift comes at a time when medical students are under enormous pressures. “Today’s medical students are tackling an explosive growth of knowledge. Here at UC San Diego, we’ve made excellent strides in integrating compassion and strategies for bedside manner into our training; the new institute will help evaluate existing courses and add to our curriculum to continue that work and exponentially expand that knowledge.” 

The institute will partner closely with the UC San Diego Student-Run Free Clinic, which has been providing free comprehensive health care since 1997 to members of the San Diego community who need it most but can afford it least.