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Center for Empathy and Compassion Training in Medical Education



Center Director: Lisa Eyler, PhD

About Us

The mission of the Center for Empathy and Compassion Training in Medical Education is to develop, evaluate, and disseminate educational programs to enhance empathy and compassion throughout medical training. Utilizing evidence-based practices and learnings from the research that the Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion is conducting, the Center will comprehensively incorporate empathy and compassion training into medical education. In the preclinical years, the training focus will be on building a strong foundation of self-awareness and self-compassion in medical students. To prevent the usual decreases in empathy and increases in burnout after the preclinical years, the Center will focus on trainings that are targeted on development of a “doctor’s bag” of wellness-boosting skills to promote resilience and a humanistic approach, even in the face of stressful demands.  The Center will also apply compassion-forward approaches to increase inclusive excellence and ensure that students are equipped to deliver structurally-competent, equitable health care.  Training programs will be rooted in a framework that questions and disrupts individual and structural biases in healthcare. Working collaboratively with the other Sanford Institute Centers, the School of Medicine, current students and faculty, and community members, we will design and implement a comprehensive approach that engages trainees, clinician-educators, and administrative leaders toward the shared goal of elevating an empathic and compassionate approach to learning and clinical care.