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Building Better Doctors

A new study shows “Five Wishes” helps improve physician understanding, compassion and empathy
February 3rd, 2023

It’s long been known that the Five Wishes advance directive helps individuals and families, but a new study published in Family Medicine, “Association Between Completion of Advance Directives and Empathy in Medical Students: Preparing for Conversations About End of Life,” shows Five Wishes helps build better, more empathic doctors too. 

Researchers Deborah Ehrlich, MD, MmedEd; Amy Lee, MD; and Ashley Duggan, PhD asked 548 third-year medical students to complete their own Five Wishes and then asked them to write two paragraphs describing “how completing ‘Five Wishes’ changes the way you think about end-of-life care, and explain how going through ‘Five Wishes’ will change the way you practice medicine in the future.”  Their answers were collected, and researchers identified five specific areas of improvement. 

Read more: Society of Teachers of Family Medicine


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