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Year : 2000  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 96-100

Incidence, severity, and significance of medical student abuse

1 Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria

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Chima Oji
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In a survey of the incidence, severity, and significance of medical student abuse as perceived by the student population of a major medical school in Nigeria, 171 (74%) out of a total 231 respondents stated that they had been abused at some time while enrolled in medical school. The abuses ranged from verbal, physical, psychological to sexual. Fifty-three (22.9%) of the students reported having become more cynical about academic life and the medical profession as a result of these episodes. Sixty (26%) felt that they were worse off than their peers in other professions. Forty-four (19%) reported that they would have chosen a different profession had they known in advance about the extent of mistreatment they would experience. Summarising the positive and negative effects that medical school had on their lives, 180 (77.9%) cited the ability to withstand stress as a positive by product among others, and 231 (90.9%) saw the fact that they had no time for social life as negative. We conclude that medical student abuse should not be dismissed as an isolated event; rather it should be a major concern of those involved with medical education.

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