Medical Students’ Professionalism Narratives Reveal That Experiences With Death, Dying, or Palliative Care Are More Positive Than Other Experiences During Their Internal Medicine Clerkship

Larry D. Cripe, David G. Hedrick, Kevin L. Rand, Debra Burns, Daniella Banno, Ann Cottingham, Debra Litzelman, Mary L. Hoffmann, Nora Martenyi, Richard M. Frankel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: More physicians need to acquire the skills of primary palliative care. Medical students’ clerkship experiences with death, dying, and palliative care (DDPC), however, may create barriers to learning such skills during residency. Whether professional development is differentially affected by DDPC is unknown. This knowledge gap potentially hinders the development of educational strategies to optimize students’ preparedness for primary palliative care. Method: Third-year students submitted professionalism narratives (N = 4062) during their internal medicine clerkship between 2004 and 2011. We identified DDPC-related narratives and then randomly selected control narratives. Narratives were compared by valence (positive or negative) and professionalism-related themes. Results and Conclusion: Less than 10% of the narratives were related to DDPC, but the majority was positive. There was a significant overlap in professionalism themes between DDPC and control narratives. The results suggest student preparedness for primary palliative care may be improved by addressing the common professionalism challenges of clinical clerkships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Keywords

  • death
  • dying
  • end-of-life care
  • palliative care
  • professionalism
  • undergraduate medical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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