Primary prevention of emotional impairment among medical trainees

Acad Med. 1990 Sep;65(9):576-81. doi: 10.1097/00001888-199009000-00007.


An extensive literature on medical students' and physicians' emotional impairment indicates the need for primary preventive programs, but few have been reported. This paper describes a seminar for premedical students aimed at preventing their later disillusionment and distress as medical trainees by fostering realistic expectations and emotional exploration. The seminar consists of open-ended discussions between premedical students and medical trainees/practitioners about stress and coping at various career stages, a physician preceptor for each student, and emotionally expressive readings and videotapes. Course-end and follow-up evaluations found that both the students' realism about their careers and their personal well-being were markedly increased.

MeSH terms

  • Affective Symptoms / prevention & control*
  • Emotions
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Life Style
  • Mental Health
  • Preceptorship*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Social Support
  • Students, Medical / psychology*