Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Med Educ Online. 2013 Aug 21;18:21194. doi: 10.3402/meo.v18i0.21194.

Decline of medical student idealism in the first and second year of medical school: a survey of pre-clinical medical students at one institution.

Author information

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA. morleycp@upstate.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Idealism declines in medical students over the course of training, with some studies identifying the beginning of the decline in year 3 of US curricula.

PURPOSES:

This study tested the hypothesis that a decline in medical student idealism is detectable in the first two years of medical school.

METHODS:

We sought to identify differences in survey responses between first-year (MS1) and second-year (MS2) medical students at the beginning (T1) and end (T2) of academic year 2010 on three proxies for idealism, including items asking about: (a) motivations for pursuing a medical career; (b) specialty choice; and (c) attitudes toward primary care. Principle component analysis was used to extract linear composite variables (LCVs) from responses to each group of questions; linear regression was then used to test the effect of on each LCV, controlling for race, ethnicity, rural or urban origins, gender, and marital status.

RESULTS:

MS2s placed more emphasis on status/income concerns (β=0.153, p<0.001), and much less emphasis on idealism as a motivator (β=-0.081, p=0.054), in pursuing a medical career; more likely to consider lifestyle and family considerations (β=0.098, p=0.023), and less likely to consider idealistic motivations (β=-0.066, p=NS); and were more likely to endorse both negative/antagonistic (β=0.122, p=0.004) and negative/sympathetic (β=0.126, p=0.004) attitudes toward primary care.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results are suggestive that idealism decline begins earlier than noted in other studies, implying a need for curricular interventions in the first two years of medical school.

KEYWORDS:

career choice; idealism; medical students; surveys

PMID:
23968751
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3750194
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (1)Free text

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

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