How Common is Medical Student Mistreatment?

How Common is Medical Student Mistreatment?

Mistreatment of medical students has long been a problem nationwide and is not unique to any school. A recent study published in Academic Medicine, a publication of the Association of American Medical Colleges, assessed the prevalence of medical school mistreatment and the associated effects on burnout. More Common Than You’d Think Researchers surveyed a nationally representative sample of third-year medical students from 24 different medical schools. Over 600 completed the survey and the results were the following: – 64% experienced at least one incident of mistreatment by faculty – 76% experienced at least on incident of mistreatment by residents – 10% reported experiencing recurrent mistreatment by faculty – 13% reported experiencing recurrent mistreatment by residents When compared with no or infrequent mistreatment, recurrent mistreatment was associated with higher burnout at 57% vs 33% when it occurred by faculty, and 48% vs 32% when it occurred by residents. These rates, and others reported in literature over the recent years, are significantly higher than those reported by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) from their Medical School Graduation Questionnaire (GQ). The AAMC has stated that between 2000 to 2011, between 12% and 20% of students reported mistreatment—public humiliation, which is considered mistreatment by some, hit 34% in their 2012 GQ. Challenges in Addressing Mistreatment David P. Sklar, MD, in a letter from the editor published in Academic Medicine in May, discusses a conversation he had with residents about their mistreatment experiences, particularly by one doctor who had a reputation of mistreating his residents. When the school’s program director and chair of the department failed to handle it, Dr. Sklar attempted...

New Missouri Law: Practicing Without Residency Training

Everyone knows there’s a shortage of primary care physicians, especially in rural areas. The state of Missouri has decided to alleviate this problem with a bill, signed into law by the governor this month, authorizing medical school graduates who have not done any residency training to act as “assistant physicians.” The assistant physicians will come from the pool of 7000 to 8000 graduates, mostly of offshore medical schools, who were unable to match to any residency. After spending 30 days with a “physician collaborator,” assistant physicians would be allowed to practice independently as long as they were within 50 miles of their collaborator. The physician collaborator is also required to review 10% of the assistant physician’s charts. Assistant physicians would be expected to treat simple problems and could prescribe Schedule III [including hydroxycodone or codeine when compounded with an NSAID as well as synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol], IV, and V drugs. Opponents of the bill included the American Medical Association, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, and the American Academy of Physician Assistants. According to, the Missouri State Medical Association supported the bill. Its government relations director and general counsel, Jeffrey Howell, said the new rules would be no different than those for older doctors. “A lot of those guys didn’t have to go through a residency program. They just graduated from medical school and went back to the farming communities they grew up in, hung out their shingles, and treated people.” Perhaps Mr. Howell hasn’t heard that medicine is a bit more complex than it was 50 or 60 years ago. Proponents of the bill felt that rural...