Attitudes decline in medical school
- By: Karen Hebert
Medical students' attitudes towards social issues decline as they progress through medical school, says a new study from the University of Calgary Medical School (Medical Education 2004;38:522-34).
Preclinical and clinical students from three separate years filled out two questionnaires examining their attitudes towards social issues in medicine on entry to medical school, on completion of preclinical training, and on completion of medical school.
Included in the survey were questions about the importance of social factors in the patient's environment as determinants of health or illness; the desire to work cooperatively with allied health professionals; the recognition and willingness to adopt preventative medicine; and the importance of emotional factors in doctor-patient relationships. Each survey question was answered on a scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree, and a score was given for each answer accordingly.
The authors found that there is a definite decline in attitude as a medical student progresses