Public Humiliation in the Surgical Clerkship: Qualitative Analysis of Responses to the Association of American Medical Colleges Graduation Questionnaire

Clarence Mullins, Edward Callahan, Heather Hageman, Herbert Chen, Brenessa Lindeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Nearly 1 in 5 medical students reports at least 1 incident of mistreatment, with many occurring in the perioperative environment. We aimed to further define the types of mistreatment occurring perioperatively in a national data set by using a mixed-methods approach. STUDY DESIGN: A sample of 2,224 responses to the general public humiliation free-text question on the 2015 Association of American Medical College's Graduation Questionnaire were analyzed. Using grounded theory methodology, 4 raters independently created and refined the coding schema. Final coding was determined by majority rating. Descriptive statistics, interrater reliability, and chi-square analysis were performed where appropriate. RESULTS: Among responses, 2,411 events were identified. Interrater reliability was moderate (>0.41) on 94% of variables. Events occurring in a specific setting implicated the surgery clerkship and the operating room 53.2% and 21.8% of the time, respectively. Perioperative events accounted for nearly one-third of verbal abuse reports (30.5%, 324/1059), and almost half of events described yelling (47.0%, 178/379). Mistreatment involving physical contact was significantly more likely to occur in the operating room (59% vs 41%, p < 0.001). Events coded as possibly routine education (n = 379) were significantly less common perioperatively than nonsurgical settings (20.5% vs 79.4%, p = 0.007). CONCLUSIONS: A significant proportion of medical student mistreatment events occur in the context of surgery. Surgeons and trainees must play active roles in leading and instituting needed changes to improve the learning environment to support medical students and recruit a sufficient future surgical workforce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-707
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Volume234
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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