Lapses in professionalism cause medical students stress
- By: Richard Thorley
A survey has shown that medical students are experiencing “emotional stress” because they feel unable to challenge senior colleagues over lapses in professional behaviour.
More than 4000 students from England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Australia participated in the research carried out by Cardiff University and the University of Dundee, with more than 2000 incidences of lapses of professionalism reported.
Complaints from students included allegations of verbal abuse, being humiliated in front of patients, and having to perform menial tasks as punishment. Other common lapses included poor clinician hygiene, and breaches in confidentiality. One student anonymously reported witnessing “unprofessional embarrassing behaviour when treating a dementia patient, involving physical unnecessary restraint of the patient and a member of the clinical team filming the incident on his camera phone.”
The General Medical Council states it is important that students protect patients from harm posed by the behaviour of a colleague, and that