Intended for healthcare professionals

Student News

Medical schools teach with humiliation and disrespect

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 01 November 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:0411398a
  1. Ahmed Kassem1
  1. 1BMJ

Medical students are subjected to humiliation and say that medicine is defined by competition rather than cooperation, a study in the BMJ has found (2004;329:770-3).

Heidi Lempp, senior qualitative researcher at Guy's, King's, and Thomas' Medical School, and Clive Seale, professor of sociology at Brunel University, interviewed 36 students in years one to five at an unnamed UK medical school.

The researches wanted to investigate how medical students are affected by the “hidden curriculum”--the “processes, pressures, and constraints which fall outside the formal curriculum, and which are often unarticulated or unexplored.”

Dr Lempp told Student BMJ, “I have noticed a clear and observable alteration in the attitudes and behaviours of medical students during the period of medical studies, changes that could not solely be explained by their personal maturity or academic content of the course.”

Two thirds of students (25) described the haphazard nature of teaching by clinical staff, who often disregarded the timetable. Twenty students indicated that unscheduled changes to teaching sessions were common and wasted time.

A third year student who participated in the study said, “Obviously the people who are teaching have another job--it's not their only job to teach you--but it's when you turn …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription