August 16, 2012

Study Finds Persistent Mistreatment of Medical Students Despite Mitigation Efforts Including Ombuds Program

A study into student mistreatment over the past 13 years at the UCLA School of Medicine found that eradication efforts had been largely unsuccessful despite a multi-pronged approach. Administrators at the medical school had created policies to prevent medical student mistreatment, including an Ombuds office and other resources reporting and educating students, faculty, and residents. Nonetheless, the researchers found that more than half of students experienced some form of mistreatment. 

Verbal and power mistreatment were most common, but 5% of students reported physical mistreatment. The authors concluded that aspects of the hidden curriculum may be undermining these efforts and therefore an aggressive approach, locally at the institution level and nationally across institutions, may be required. Although mentioned in passing, the role and impact of the Ombuds program was not evaluated. (Academic Medicine; NY Times Blog; American Medical News.)

1 comment:

  1. While engaged in a year-long medical school research project at a major east-coast medical school, I asked many students if they knew about the school's ombuds. Most didn't, some said the program was for faculty and some said they didn't trust that they wouldn't ultimately be punished for speaking to the ombuds.
    My feeling was that the school could use another, perhaps part-time ombuds, for students.