Study: Students Who Have A Bad Experience In Medical School More Likely To Regret Career


By Erica Carbajal

Students who said they were mistreated during their first two years of medical school were more likely to report exhaustion and career regret by the time they graduated, according to findings published Aug. 9.

Researchers used data from the 2014-2016 Association of American Medical Colleges Medical School Year 2 Questionnaire, and another questionnaire completed by the same students during their last year of medical school. Data from 14,126 medical students across 140 U.S. medical schools were included in the analysis.

Overall, nearly 23 percent of respondents reported mistreatment in the first two years of medical school. This group was more likely to report higher levels of exhaustion and disengagement, compared to students who didn't report a negative experience. Of the group that reported mistreatment, 18.8 percent reported career regret by the time of graduation.

At the same time, students who reported positive learning experiences, such as better interactions with faculty, were more likely to report higher empathy, lower exhaustion scores and lower engagement scores by the time they graduated. Better student-to-student interactions were also tied to a lower chance of reporting career regret during the last year of medical school, the findings showed.

"The findings of this cohort study suggest that medical students who experienced mistreatment and perceived the learning environment less favorably were more likely to develop higher levels of exhaustion and disengagement, lower levels of empathy, and career regret compared with medical students with more positive experiences," researchers said. "Strategies to improve well-being, empathy, and experience should include approaches to eliminate mistreatment and improve the learning experience."


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