Survey of student mistreatment experienced during the core clinical clerkships

Published:January 12, 2023DOI:


      • Medical student mistreatment occurs throughout the clinical curriculum.
      • Medical student mistreatment negatively impacts team dynamics and patient safety.
      • Attendings, residents, and fellows are common perpetrators of verbal/emotional abuse.
      • Patients are common perpetrators of sexual harassment, gender, and race mistreatment.



      The goal of this study was to learn more about the potential impact of medical student mistreatment on patient safety and care.


      A web-based survey was sent to members of the class of 2021 and 2022 who have completed their core clerkships at a single academic institution. Descriptive statistics were performed to understand how prior and future mistreatment impacted communication among students and team members.


      We received 290 of 376 responses (77.1%). 26% of respondents indicated that past mistreatment negatively impacted their communication with other team members. 30% of respondents reported that fear of future mistreatment negatively impacted their communication with other team members.


      Mistreatment of medical students has many sources and occurs throughout the clinical curriculum. Past and fear of future student mistreatment can negatively impact intrateam communication and therefore negatively impact patient care, with the potential of causing poor patient outcomes.


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