Empathy Learned Through an Extended Medical Education Virtual Reality Project
It is particularly important that innovative learning modalities are utilized to augment our University of
New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM) medical students’ learning about empathy in
relation to older adult health care. Currently those age 65 years and older use more than 50% of health
care resources. As the older population increases and lives longer, their health care utilization is
predicted to increase dramatically, therefore placing an obligation on our health care providers to work
with older adults within primary care as well as any medical specialty.
We plan to utilize a virtual reality (VR) experience for 1st year medical students. Specifically, we will
incorporate the “We Are Alfred” software developed by Embodied Labs, a company that creates
immersive, interactive, VR experiences for health training.