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Med Educ. 1992 Jan;26(1):17-20.

The anxieties of new clinical students.

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St Mary's Hospital Medical School, Imperial College of Science, College and Technology, London, UK.


The specific anxieties of 74 medical students beginning their clinical training were assessed by means of a questionnaire at the start of the clinical introductory course at St Mary's Hospital Medical School, London. Situations differed in the amount of anxiety that they engendered, and students also differed in the number of situations that they found anxiety producing. Students particularly reported that interactions with senior staff on ward rounds were anxiety provoking. The same questionnaire was also distributed to 52 teaching hospital doctors who were asked to complete the questionnaire as they thought the students had done. Compared with students, the doctors considered more situations to be anxiety provoking, and they differed in their rank ordering of the situations. Doctors tended to overestimate anxiety concerning communication problems, and to underestimate anxiety concerning routine clinical tasks such as phlebotomy.

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