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Logo of bmcmeduBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Medical Education
 
BMC Med Educ. 2004; 4: 3.
Published online Mar 10, 2004. doi:  10.1186/1472-6920-4-3
PMCID: PMC385242
A Family Day program enhances knowledge about medical school culture and necessary supports
Mary A Bell,corresponding author1 Paula S Smith,2 James J Brokaw,1 and Herbert E Cushing1
1Medical Student Affairs, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A
2Medical Education and Curricular Affairs, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Mary A Bell: mbell/at/iupui.edu; Paula S Smith: psmith4/at/iupui.edu; James J Brokaw: jbrokaw/at/iupui.edu; Herbert E Cushing: hcushing/at/iupui.edu
Received January 5, 2004; Accepted March 10, 2004.
Abstract
Background
A Family Day program was implemented at Indiana University School of Medicine to educate the families and friends of in-coming medical students about the rigors of medical school and the factors that contribute to stress.
Methods
Surveys that assessed knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes about medical school were administered to participants before and after the program.
Results
After the program, participants showed a significant improvement in their understanding of medical school culture and the importance of support systems for medical students. Post-test scores improved by an average of 29% (P < 0.001) in each of the two years this program was administered.
Conclusions
The inclusion of family members and other loved ones in pre-matriculation educational programs may serve to mitigate the stress associated with medical school by enhancing the students' social support systems.
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