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Teach Learn Med. 2009 Jul;21(3):180-7. doi: 10.1080/10401330903014111.

Crying: experiences and attitudes of third-year medical students and interns.

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1
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The medical socialization process is emotionally stressful for trainees; anecdotally, crying is a frequent response.

PURPOSES:

To understand the experiences and attitudes related to crying among 3rd-year medical students and interns.

METHODS:

Web-based survey distributed to all 3rd-year medical students and interns at two medical schools and affiliated internal medicine residency programs.

RESULTS:

Participation rates were 208/307 (68%) students and 93/126 (74%) interns. Sixty-nine percent of students and 74% of interns self-reported crying for reasons related to medicine. For both, the most common cause was "burnout." Although there were no significant differences in crying between students and interns (p =.38), twice as many women cried as men (93% vs. 44%, p <.001). Seventy-three percent of students and 68% of interns thought discussion of physicians' crying was inadequate.

CONCLUSIONS:

Crying is common among medical students and interns, especially women. Many consider it unprofessional to cry in front of patients and colleagues. Trainees want more discussions of crying.

PMID:
20183336
DOI:
10.1080/10401330903014111
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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