Perceived mistreatment and attitude change by graduating medical students: a retrospective study

Med Educ. 1991 May;25(3):182-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.1991.tb00050.x.


The goal of this study was to assess types and sources of perceived mistreatment, perceived attitude change, and academic performance of graduating medical students. A total of 87 of 143 (61%) students anonymously completed a mistreatment questionnaire, an attitude questionnaire, and questions about academic performance. The percentage of mistreatment was widespread (98.9%) with psychological mistreatment (shouting and humiliating) by residents/interns being most frequent. Over half of the students perceived sexual harassment, with women reporting greater harassment than men. There was a high incidence of disparaging remarks about doctors and medicine as a profession from a variety of sources. Increased mistreatment was positively associated with a perceived increase in cynicism. The potentially adverse effects of mistreatment on the individual student, the teacher-student relationship, and the doctor-patient relationship are discussed with recommendations for improving medical education.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Louisiana
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Social Perception*
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Students, Medical / psychology*