Maps & Exhibits

The Hidden Curriculum in Medical Education: Exposing the Loss of Empathy -259

Beverley Freedman, Carley MacAdam-Thompson, Maizie Lovatt and Katherine Valenzuela

This project investigated the medical education system to address the decline of empathy in medical students, uncover the causes and influencing factors, and offer our findings towards re-designing the system with empathy intervention methods. Empathy is an essential element of the health seeker-to-physician relationship. This systems study exposes a set of teachings communicated to physicians-in-training called the hidden curriculum as a major cause of this prominent decline. Research, analysis, visual mapping, and persona development collectively formed a deep understanding of the system and journey through the medical education system, exposing points of the hidden curriculum and opportunities for points of intervention. The outcomes of this project highlight possibilities for a changed education system through strategically designed intervention methods that can assist in empathy recovery for medical students and future physicians.


Pre-proceedings drafts are available for review. The corresponding paper number is at the end of the title.

Posted September 2022
Posted September 2022

©­ Author, published by the Systemic Design Association

Open Access article published under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License. This permits anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form according to the licence terms.

Suggested Citation Format (APA)

Author(s) (20##). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD#) Symposium.