Medical student abuse: an international phenomenon

JAMA. 1994 Apr 6;271(13):1049-51. doi: 10.1001/jama.271.13.1049.


Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of physical and psychological mistreatment of medical students at two medical schools in Finland.

Study design and setting: To enable comparison between Finnish and American students, we used the American Medical Association's Office of Education Research questionnaire.

Results: Three of every four students surveyed reported experiencing some kind of mistreatment during their medical education. Students most commonly reported sexual mistreatment, usually as slurs and sexual discrimination, from classmates, preclinical teachers, clinical teachers, clinicians, nurses, and patients. Other forms of verbal abuse, psychological mistreatment, and physical threats were also reported.

Conclusions: All forms of mistreatment were reported occurring less frequently than in the United States; still, the level of such behavior was high. The results suggest the need for more international awareness and debate regarding the habits and behavior of teaching staff in medical schools.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Internationality
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Male
  • Prejudice
  • Professional Misconduct*
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Social Behavior*
  • Students, Medical*
  • United States