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Dr. Mohammadreza Hojat Honored with AOA Award for POMEE Empathy Study

October 22, 2020

Mohammadreza Hojat, PhDMohammadreza Hojat, PhD, has recently been awarded the American Osteopathic Association's George W. Northrup, DO Medical Writing Award, in recognition for his article, "Empathy in Medicine National Norms for the Jefferson Scale of Empathy: A National Project in Osteopathic Medical Education and Empathy," published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

Dr. Hojat was honored for his achievement during the AOA Awards Virtual Recognition, which took place during the AOA House of Delegates Special Session on October 14. Dr. Ronald Burns, Chair of the Awards Committee presented the award to Dr. Hojat as part of the event.

The article outlines the work Dr. Hojat and other researchers have done as part of the groundbreaking nationwide “Project in Osteopathic Medical Education and Empathy (POMEE).” The project is sponsored by AACOM and the AOA, in collaboration with the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and Leonard Calabrese, DO, a professor of medicine at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Prior to the start of POMEE, no assessment had ever been implemented to study empathy on a nationwide level, and no national norm tables existed to measure empathy in any profession.

Completed in early 2019, Phase I of the project measured and examined self-reported empathy levels of 6,009 students from 41 osteopathic medical colleges, branch campuses and teaching sites—a pool representing roughly 85 percent of all incoming osteopathic medical students in the United States. Outcomes of the study will provide osteopathic medical educators a better understanding of the determinants affecting medical student empathy. Once completed, data from Phase II will help educators create a baseline to further inform curricular assessment in order to effect positive change on empathy retention during medical school.

For more information on the study, visit The Project in Osteopathic Medical Education and Empathy (POMEE) web page.