The attitudes of second- and third-year medical students to the autopsy. A survey by postal questionnaire

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1991 Nov;115(11):1171-6.


Questionnaires were mailed to medical students in the cohorts who had just completed the second and third years of their courses. These included 52 attitude statements to which students indicated their responses on five-point Likert scales. Significant differences were found between the responses of the two cohorts to 18 statements. The results indicate a good general acceptance of the principle of autopsy in both groups, but the senior cohort was more reluctant to become personally involved, despite being more aware of the value of the autopsy in clinical audit, more aware that the autopsy has nonforensic uses, and more aware that autopsies remain useful in elderly subjects. Additionally, they were considerably less likely to want autopsies on close relatives.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Autopsy*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Students, Medical / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom