December 2004

Volume 24 | Number 4

Collection of Articles

Research Articles

Retrospective Pre/Post Survey Design to Assess Student Gains in Knowledge, Confidence, and Motivation in a Premedical Summer Enrichment Program
Pamela G. Ferry, M.H.S.
Jason E. King, Ph.D
William A. Thomson, Ph.D.

This article reports the results of a survey administered to 119 participants at the end of a six-week summer enrichment program. Participants assessed the extent to which their knowledge, confidence and motivation were advanced as a result of program activities. Results indicate that the program made significant and measurable impacts on participants’ self-assessed knowledge of medical education pathways and practice, as well as on confidence and motivation to pursue medical careers.

An Analysis of Factors that Influence What Specialties Medical Students Envision Pursuing
Sharyn J. Potter, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Rebecca L. Lozman, M.P.H., Candidate
Jeffrey Lozman, M.D.

First and fourth year medical students at two Northeastern medical schools were sent questionnaires. Logistic regression was used to determine which factors were most significant in predicting perceived specialty choice. Gender was the most significant predictor, but socioeconomic status, and income and prestige were also significant predictors of the choice of surgery as a specialty. The authors conclude that additional efforts need to be made to attract women medical students into surgical and non-primary-care specialties.


Encouraging Pre-Medical Students to " See the World"
Kerry L. Cheesman, Ph.D.
Jennifer Adams, M.A.

The authors support university sponsored study abroad experiences. They cite a University of Delaware survey which found “a transformation in their [students] attitudes and their appreciation for the social side of medicine.” Careful planning is recommended in order to fit the study abroad with students’ academic goals and the medical school application process. The authors pose questions that they recommend the advisor and student consider. Several options for structuring a study abroad experience are presented.

Interview Appearance and Professionalism: Setting Standards
Peter Van Houten, Ph.D.

Directly pertinent to discussions on the listserv about students sporting tongue studs and other body ornamentation, this article delves deeper into the subject. The author reflects on changing standards and questions what is meant by professionalism. He suggests the term may be too vague to communicate information students need in order to actually meet or exceed appearance and behavioral expectations for medical school interviews and for practicing physicians. Dr. Van Houten writes, “Respect may be a term that helps us find an appropriate definition of what is or is not appropriate in an interview and more importantly in our relations with others.”

Narrative in Medicine: Important for Both Doctor and Patient
David S. Svahn, M.D.

Efforts to incorporate the study of literature in medial education are aimed at helping doctors elicit and decipher the stories patients tell. Dr. Svahn writes, “Narrative training is, thus, most assuredly not simple entertainment.” He supports medical education models that educate both doctor and patient in the literary arts. These models encourage development of the “medical relationship” and contribute to accurate diagnosis of illness.

From the Literature: Changing the Culture: An Institution-wide Approach to Instilling Professional Values
Bruce A. Berger, Ph.D.
Stephen L. Butler, Ed.D.
Wendy Duncan-Hewitt, Ph.D.
Bill G. Felkey, M.S.
Paul W. Jungnickel, Ph.D.
Janelle L. Krueger, M.S.
Charles R. Perry
Charles Taylor, Pharm.D.

Book Review: Get Into Medical School: A Guide for the Perplexed
Book by Kenneth V. Iserson, M.D., M.B.A., FACEP
Review by Cecilia Fox

Resource Review: Ethical and Economic Issues Confronting Today's Practicing Physicians: A Synopsis
Charles F. Thurber, M.D., M.A.
Review by Carol Baffi-Dugan

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