The suffering medical students attribute to their undergraduate medical education

Thomas R. Egnew, Peter Lewis, Kimberly Myers, William R. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to explore medical student perceptions of their medical school teaching and learning about human suffering and their recommendations for teaching about suffering. During data collection, students also shared their percerptions of personal suffering which they attributed to their medical education. METHODS: In April through May 2015, we conducted focus groups involving a total of 51 students representing all four classes at two US medical schools. RESULTS: Some students in all groups reported suffering that they attributed to the experience of medical school and the culture of medical education. Sources of suffering included isolation, stoicism, confusion about personal/ professional identity and role as medical students, and witnessing suffering in patients, families, and colleagues. Students described emotional distress, dehumanization, powerlessness, and disillusionment as negative consequences of their suffering. Reported means of adaptation to their suffering included distraction, emotional suppression, compartmentalization, and reframing. Students also identified activities that promoted well-being: small-group discussions, protected opportunities for venting, and guidance for sharing their experiences. They recommended integration of these strategies longitudinally throughout medical training. CONCLUSIONS: Students reported suffering related to their medical education. They identified common causes of suffering, harmful consequences, and adaptive and supportive approaches to limit and/or ameliorate suffering. Understanding student suffering can complement efforts to reduce medical student distress and support well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-299
Number of pages4
JournalFamily medicine
Volume50
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

Fingerprint

Undergraduate Medical Education
Medical Students
Psychological Stress
Students
Medical Education
Medical Schools
Dehumanization
Teaching
Professional Role
Focus Groups
Learning

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Family Practice

Cite this

@article{7a99177879b147c3b219b32708502a53,
title = "The suffering medical students attribute to their undergraduate medical education",
abstract = "BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to explore medical student perceptions of their medical school teaching and learning about human suffering and their recommendations for teaching about suffering. During data collection, students also shared their percerptions of personal suffering which they attributed to their medical education. METHODS: In April through May 2015, we conducted focus groups involving a total of 51 students representing all four classes at two US medical schools. RESULTS: Some students in all groups reported suffering that they attributed to the experience of medical school and the culture of medical education. Sources of suffering included isolation, stoicism, confusion about personal/ professional identity and role as medical students, and witnessing suffering in patients, families, and colleagues. Students described emotional distress, dehumanization, powerlessness, and disillusionment as negative consequences of their suffering. Reported means of adaptation to their suffering included distraction, emotional suppression, compartmentalization, and reframing. Students also identified activities that promoted well-being: small-group discussions, protected opportunities for venting, and guidance for sharing their experiences. They recommended integration of these strategies longitudinally throughout medical training. CONCLUSIONS: Students reported suffering related to their medical education. They identified common causes of suffering, harmful consequences, and adaptive and supportive approaches to limit and/or ameliorate suffering. Understanding student suffering can complement efforts to reduce medical student distress and support well-being.",
author = "Egnew, {Thomas R.} and Peter Lewis and Kimberly Myers and Phillips, {William R.}",
year = "2018",
month = "4",
day = "1",
doi = "10.22454/FamMed.2018.116755",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "50",
pages = "296--299",
journal = "Family Medicine",
issn = "0742-3225",
publisher = "Society of Teachers of Family Medicine",
number = "4",

}

The suffering medical students attribute to their undergraduate medical education. / Egnew, Thomas R.; Lewis, Peter; Myers, Kimberly; Phillips, William R.

In: Family medicine, Vol. 50, No. 4, 01.04.2018, p. 296-299.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The suffering medical students attribute to their undergraduate medical education

AU - Egnew, Thomas R.

AU - Lewis, Peter

AU - Myers, Kimberly

AU - Phillips, William R.

PY - 2018/4/1

Y1 - 2018/4/1

N2 - BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to explore medical student perceptions of their medical school teaching and learning about human suffering and their recommendations for teaching about suffering. During data collection, students also shared their percerptions of personal suffering which they attributed to their medical education. METHODS: In April through May 2015, we conducted focus groups involving a total of 51 students representing all four classes at two US medical schools. RESULTS: Some students in all groups reported suffering that they attributed to the experience of medical school and the culture of medical education. Sources of suffering included isolation, stoicism, confusion about personal/ professional identity and role as medical students, and witnessing suffering in patients, families, and colleagues. Students described emotional distress, dehumanization, powerlessness, and disillusionment as negative consequences of their suffering. Reported means of adaptation to their suffering included distraction, emotional suppression, compartmentalization, and reframing. Students also identified activities that promoted well-being: small-group discussions, protected opportunities for venting, and guidance for sharing their experiences. They recommended integration of these strategies longitudinally throughout medical training. CONCLUSIONS: Students reported suffering related to their medical education. They identified common causes of suffering, harmful consequences, and adaptive and supportive approaches to limit and/or ameliorate suffering. Understanding student suffering can complement efforts to reduce medical student distress and support well-being.

AB - BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to explore medical student perceptions of their medical school teaching and learning about human suffering and their recommendations for teaching about suffering. During data collection, students also shared their percerptions of personal suffering which they attributed to their medical education. METHODS: In April through May 2015, we conducted focus groups involving a total of 51 students representing all four classes at two US medical schools. RESULTS: Some students in all groups reported suffering that they attributed to the experience of medical school and the culture of medical education. Sources of suffering included isolation, stoicism, confusion about personal/ professional identity and role as medical students, and witnessing suffering in patients, families, and colleagues. Students described emotional distress, dehumanization, powerlessness, and disillusionment as negative consequences of their suffering. Reported means of adaptation to their suffering included distraction, emotional suppression, compartmentalization, and reframing. Students also identified activities that promoted well-being: small-group discussions, protected opportunities for venting, and guidance for sharing their experiences. They recommended integration of these strategies longitudinally throughout medical training. CONCLUSIONS: Students reported suffering related to their medical education. They identified common causes of suffering, harmful consequences, and adaptive and supportive approaches to limit and/or ameliorate suffering. Understanding student suffering can complement efforts to reduce medical student distress and support well-being.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85047486200&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85047486200&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.22454/FamMed.2018.116755

DO - 10.22454/FamMed.2018.116755

M3 - Article

VL - 50

SP - 296

EP - 299

JO - Family Medicine

JF - Family Medicine

SN - 0742-3225

IS - 4

ER -