Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
J Gen Intern Med. 2001 Aug;16(8):544-9.

Between two worlds medical student perceptions of humor and slang in the hospital setting.

Author information

  • 1Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Residents frequently use humor and slang at the expense of patients on the clinical wards. We studied how medical students react to and interpret the "appropriateness" of derogatory and cynical humor and slang in a clinical setting.

DESIGN:

Semistructured, in-depth interviews.

SETTING:

Informal meeting spaces.

PARTICIPANTS:

Thirty-three medical students.

MEASUREMENTS:

Qualitative content analysis of interview transcriptions.

MAIN RESULTS:

Students' descriptions of the humorous stories and their responses reveal that students are able to take the perspective of both outsiders and insiders in the medical culture. Students' responses to these stories show that they can identify the outsider's perspective both by seeing themselves in the outsider's role and by identifying with patients. Students can also see the insider's perspective, in that they identify with residents' frustrations and disappointments and therefore try to explain why residents use this kind of humor. Their participation in the humor and slang--often with reservations--further reveals their ability to identify with the perspective of an insider.

CONCLUSIONS:

Medical students describe a number of conflicting reactions to hospital humor that may enhance and exacerbate tensions that are already an inevitable part of training for many students. This phenomenon requires greater attention by medical educators.

Comment in

PMID:
11556931
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1495252
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk