The relief of suffering is a fundamental goal of medicine, but what medical students are taught about suffering has been largely unexplored.
This pilot study explored the perceptions of physicians in postgraduate training of their medical school education about suffering.
Survey research involving physicians in postgraduate family medicine training programs.
One hundred eighty-four of 304 surveys were returned for a response rate of 61%. Respondents perceived significant gaps in their education about the understanding and diagnosis of suffering and in their preparation to deal with the feelings engendered by caring for suffering patients. Respondents generally perceived that they were prepared to interact with suffering patients and were taught that the relief of suffering is an inherent function of being a physician, but perceived that more explicit teaching about suffering would have better prepared them for residency training.
Perceptions of the teaching about suffering at the medical school level are quite variable with significant curricular gaps in student instruction about suffering and its relief.
The predictive validity of the new Medical College Admission Test as it relates to end-of-quarter examinations in anatomy, histology, physiology, biochemistry, and "ages of man" is presented. It is recognized that the maximum predictive power is attenuated by the reliability of the criterion variables. To determine the value of attempting to increase the reliability in the criteria, the authors corrected the validity coefficients for attenutation. Regression analyses were also undertaken to examine the extent to which the new MCAT subtests can predict scores on end-of-quarter examinations. Results indicate that the Science Knowledge assessment areas of chemistry and physics and the Science Problems subtest were the most useful in predicting student performance, followed by the Skills Analysis: Quantitative and Skills Analysis: Reading subtests and the biology area of the Science Knowledge subtest.