Interns’ perceived abuse during their undergraduate training at King Abdul Aziz University
Rahila Iftikhar,1 Razaz Tawfiq,2 Salem Barabie2
1Department of Family and Community Medicine, 2General Practice Department, King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Background and objectives: Abuse occurs in all workplaces, including the medical field. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of perceived abuse among medical students, the types of abuse experienced during medical training, the source of abuse, and the perceived barriers to reporting abuse.
Method: This cross-sectional survey was conducted between September 2013 and January 2014 among medical graduates of King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah. The survey questionnaire was designed to gather information regarding the frequency with which participants perceived themselves to have experienced abuse, the type of abuse, the source of abuse, and the reasons for nonreporting of perceived abuse. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences.
Result: Of the 186 students enrolled in this study, 169 (90.9%) reported perceiving some form of abuse during medical school training. Perceived abuse was most often verbal (86.6%), although academic abuse (73.1%), sex discrimination (38.7%), racial or ethnic discrimination (29.0%), physical abuse (18.8%), religious discrimination (15.1%), and sexual harassment (8.6%) were also reported. Professors were most often cited as the sources of perceived abuse, followed by associate professors, demonstrators (or assistant teaching staff), and assistant professors. The Internal Medicine Department was the most frequently cited department where students perceived themselves to have experienced abuse. Only 14.8% of the students reported the abuse to a third party.
Conclusion: The self-reported prevalence of medical student abuse at King Abdul Aziz University is high. A proper system for reporting abuse and for supporting victims of abuse should be set up, to promote a good learning environment.
Keywords: maltreatment, medical school, mistreatment
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