What such studies invariably lack is one of the most important skills of all – empathy and, specifically, how to interact with their patients.
As such, the University of Sheffield should be commended for launching an unique six-week Social Accountability project that enables students to volunteer in local charities to learn the importance of communication and building relationships with those in their care.
From time spent helping dementia patients to unearth old memories to sessions on a farm assisting children with learning disabilities, there’s already a sense that these experiences will be of immense benefit to the students when they start working on hospital wards.
The only surprise is that it is taken so long for such an enlightened initiative to be put in place – and we look forward to following the careers of the participants.
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