It may be possible to identify medical students who have good empathic qualities during the medical school admissions interview. A technique is described where video clips of simulated patients interviews are shown to students in the classroom in order to teach them the best empathic responses. An empathic response can also be demonstrated to students during the teaching of medical interviewing at the bedside with real patients.
Medical students can show resistances to being taught how to respond empathically. Life experience may be the best teacher of this important quality for physicians.