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1.  Self-reported attitudes and behaviours of medical students in Pakistan regarding academic misconduct: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Medical Ethics  2014;15:43.
Background
Honesty and integrity are key attributes of an ethically competent physician. However, academic misconduct, which includes but is not limited to plagiarism, cheating, and falsifying documentation, is common in medical colleges across the world. The purpose of this study is to describe differences in the self-reported attitudes and behaviours of medical students regarding academic misconduct depending on gender, year of study and type of medical institution in Pakistan.
Methods
A cross sectional study was conducted with medical students from one private and one public sector medical college. A pre-coded questionnaire about attitudes and behaviours regarding plagiarism, lying, cheating and falsifying documentation was completed anonymously by the students.
Results
A total of 465 medical students filled the questionnaire. 53% of private medical college students reported that they recognize copying an assignment verbatim and listing sources as references as wrong compared to 35% of public medical college students. 26% of private medical college students self-report this behaviour as compared to 42% of public medical college students. 22% of private versus 15% of public medical college students and 21% of students in clinical years compared to 17% in basic science years admit to submitting a fake medical certificate to justify an absence. 87% of students at a private medical college believe that cheating in an examination is wrong as compared to 66% of public medical college students and 24% self-report this behaviour in the former group as compared to 41% in the latter. 63% of clinical year students identify cheating as wrong compared to 89% of their junior colleagues. 71% of male versus 84% of female respondents believe that cheating is wrong and 42% of males compared to 23% of females admit to cheating.
Conclusions
There are significant differences in medical students’ attitudes and behaviours towards plagiarism, lying, cheating and stealing by gender, seniority status and type of institution. The ability to identify acts of academic misconduct does not deter students from engaging in the behaviour themselves, as evidenced by self-reporting.
doi:10.1186/1472-6939-15-43
PMCID: PMC4060764  PMID: 24885991
Lying; Cheating; Stealing; Academic misconduct; Academic integrity; Medical students
2.  Academic misconduct among students in medical colleges of Karachi, Pakistan 
Objective: To determine the trends of academic misconduct in undergraduate students of different private and government section medical institutes.
Methodology: This cross sectional study was conducted at three medical colleges of Karachi, Pakistan. The students were evaluated by giving a self reported questionnaire containing various questions assessing their educational dishonesty and cheating behaviors.
Results: A total of 274 students from different years completed the questionnaire. Mean age was 21.48 ± 1.89 years. Most of the students were in 4th year (n=86; 31.3%). There were 182 (66.5%) females and 92 (33.5%) males. Majority of the students (n=155; 55.1%) accepted that they have cheated at least once. There was no significant difference regarding acceptance of cheating among different years of study (p=0.23) however females were found to accept cheating more as compared to males (p=0.036). First year students were found more to ask teachers for answers during OSCE (p=0.01). A large number of students accepted that they mark proxy for their friends (85.7%) and also ask their friends to mark proxy for them (85.03%). Nearly half (44.02%) of the students rotating in wards also admitted to write fake histories.
Conclusion: A large number of medical students admitted cheating and involvement in other academic misconduct. We need to improve our educational system, formally add professional session and strict disciplinary action should be taken against those who are found guilty.
PMCID: PMC3809313  PMID: 24353611
Academic misconduct; Medical students
3.  Medical Students' Exposure to and Attitudes about the Pharmaceutical Industry: A Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(5):e1001037.
A systematic review of published studies reveals that undergraduate medical students may experience substantial exposure to pharmaceutical marketing, and that this contact may be associated with positive attitudes about marketing.
Background
The relationship between health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry has become a source of controversy. Physicians' attitudes towards the industry can form early in their careers, but little is known about this key stage of development.
Methods and Findings
We performed a systematic review reported according to PRISMA guidelines to determine the frequency and nature of medical students' exposure to the drug industry, as well as students' attitudes concerning pharmaceutical policy issues. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, and ERIC from the earliest available dates through May 2010, as well as bibliographies of selected studies. We sought original studies that reported quantitative or qualitative data about medical students' exposure to pharmaceutical marketing, their attitudes about marketing practices, relationships with industry, and related pharmaceutical policy issues. Studies were separated, where possible, into those that addressed preclinical versus clinical training, and were quality rated using a standard methodology. Thirty-two studies met inclusion criteria. We found that 40%–100% of medical students reported interacting with the pharmaceutical industry. A substantial proportion of students (13%–69%) were reported as believing that gifts from industry influence prescribing. Eight studies reported a correlation between frequency of contact and favorable attitudes toward industry interactions. Students were more approving of gifts to physicians or medical students than to government officials. Certain attitudes appeared to change during medical school, though a time trend was not performed; for example, clinical students (53%–71%) were more likely than preclinical students (29%–62%) to report that promotional information helps educate about new drugs.
Conclusions
Undergraduate medical education provides substantial contact with pharmaceutical marketing, and the extent of such contact is associated with positive attitudes about marketing and skepticism about negative implications of these interactions. These results support future research into the association between exposure and attitudes, as well as any modifiable factors that contribute to attitudinal changes during medical education.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
The complex relationship between health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry has long been a subject of discussion among physicians and policymakers. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that physicians' interactions with pharmaceutical sales representatives may influence clinical decision making in a way that is not always in the best interests of individual patients, for example, encouraging the use of expensive treatments that have no therapeutic advantage over less costly alternatives. The pharmaceutical industry often uses physician education as a marketing tool, as in the case of Continuing Medical Education courses that are designed to drive prescribing practices.
One reason that physicians may be particularly susceptible to pharmaceutical industry marketing messages is that doctors' attitudes towards the pharmaceutical industry may form early in their careers. The socialization effect of professional schooling is strong, and plays a lasting role in shaping views and behaviors.
Why Was This Study Done?
Recently, particularly in the US, some medical schools have limited students' and faculties' contact with industry, but some have argued that these restrictions are detrimental to students' education. Given the controversy over the pharmaceutical industry's role in undergraduate medical training, consolidating current knowledge in this area may be useful for setting priorities for changes to educational practices. In this study, the researchers systematically examined studies of pharmaceutical industry interactions with medical students and whether such interactions influenced students' views on related topics.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers did a comprehensive literature search using appropriate search terms for all relevant quantitative and qualitative studies published before June 2010. Using strict inclusion criteria, the researchers then selected 48 articles (from 1,603 abstracts) for full review and identified 32 eligible for analysis—giving a total of approximately 9,850 medical students studying at 76 medical schools or hospitals.
Most students had some form of interaction with the pharmaceutical industry but contact increased in the clinical years, with up to 90% of all clinical students receiving some form of educational material. The highest level of exposure occurred in the US. In most studies, the majority of students in their clinical training years found it ethically permissible for medical students to accept gifts from drug manufacturers, while a smaller percentage of preclinical students reported such attitudes. Students justified their entitlement to gifts by citing financial hardship or by asserting that most other students accepted gifts. In addition, although most students believed that education from industry sources is biased, students variably reported that information obtained from industry sources was useful and a valuable part of their education.
Almost two-thirds of students reported that they were immune to bias induced by promotion, gifts, or interactions with sales representatives but also reported that fellow medical students or doctors are influenced by such encounters. Eight studies reported a relationship between exposure to the pharmaceutical industry and positive attitudes about industry interactions and marketing strategies (although not all included supportive statistical data). Finally, student opinions were split on whether physician–industry interactions should be regulated by medical schools or the government.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This analysis shows that students are frequently exposed to pharmaceutical marketing, even in the preclinical years, and that the extent of students' contact with industry is generally associated with positive attitudes about marketing and skepticism towards any negative implications of interactions with industry. Therefore, strategies to educate students about interactions with the pharmaceutical industry should directly address widely held misconceptions about the effects of marketing and other biases that can emerge from industry interactions. But education alone may be insufficient. Institutional policies, such as rules regulating industry interactions, can play an important role in shaping students' attitudes, and interventions that decrease students' contact with industry and eliminate gifts may have a positive effect on building the skills that evidence-based medical practice requires. These changes can help cultivate strong professional values and instill in students a respect for scientific principles and critical evidence review that will later inform clinical decision-making and prescribing practices.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001037.
Further information about the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on doctors and medical students can be found at the American Medical Students Association PharmFree campaign and PharmFree Scorecard, Medsin-UKs PharmAware campaign, the nonprofit organization Healthy Skepticism, and the Web site of No Free Lunch.
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001037
PMCID: PMC3101205  PMID: 21629685
4.  Risk factors at medical school for subsequent professional misconduct: multicentre retrospective case-control study 
Objective To determine whether there are risk factors in a doctor’s time at medical school that are associated with subsequent professional misconduct.
Design Matched case-control study.
Setting Records from medical schools and the General Medical Council (GMC).
Participants 59 doctors who had graduated from any one of eight medical schools in the United Kingdom in 1958-97 and had a proved finding of serious professional misconduct in GMC proceedings in 1999-2004 (cases); 236 controls (four for each case) were selected by systematic sampling from matching graduation cohorts. Case-control status was revealed by the GMC after completion of data entry.
Main outcome measure Odds ratios for being a “case,” with multivariable conditional logistic regression of potential risk factors including pre-admission characteristics and progress during the course. These data were obtained from anonymised copies of the students’ progress files held by their original medical schools.
Results Univariate conditional logistic regression analysis found that cases were more likely to be men, to be of lower estimated social class, and to have had academic difficulties during their medical course, especially in the early years. Multivariable analysis showed that male sex (odds ratio 9.80, 95% confidence interval 2.43 to 39.44, P=0.001), lower social class (4.28, 1.52 to 12.09, P=0.006), and failure of early or preclinical examinations (5.47, 2.17 to 13.79, P<0.001) were independently associated with being a case.
Conclusions This small study suggests that male sex, a lower socioeconomic background, and early academic difficulties at medical school could be risk factors for subsequent professional misconduct. The findings are preliminary and should be interpreted with caution. Most doctors with risk factors will not come before the GMC’s disciplinary panels.
doi:10.1136/bmj.c2040
PMCID: PMC3191727  PMID: 20423965
5.  PREVALENCE OF SCIENTIFIC MISCONDUCT AMONG A GROUP OF RESEARCHERS IN NIGERIA 
Developing world bioethics  2012;13(3):10.1111/j.1471-8847.2012.00339.x.
Background
There is a dearth of information on the prevalence of scientific misconduct from Nigeria.
Objectives
This study aimed at determining the prevalence of scientific misconduct in a group of researchers in Nigeria. Factors associated with the prevalence were ascertained.
Method
A descriptive study of researchers who attended a scientific conference in 2010 was conducted using the adapted Scientific Misconduct Questionnaire- Revised (SMQ-R).
Results
Ninety-one researchers (68.9%) admitted having committed at least one of the eight listed forms of scientific misconduct. Disagreement about authorship was the most common form of misconduct committed (36.4%) while plagiarism was the least (9.2%). About 42% of researchers had committed falsification of data or plagiarism. Analysis of specific acts of misconduct showed that committing plagiarism was inversely associated with years in research (Fisher exact p-value = 0.02); falsifying data was related to perceived low effectiveness of the institution’s rules and procedures for reducing scientific misconduct (X2 = 6.44, p-value = 0.01); and succumbing to pressure from study sponsor to engage in unethical practice was related to sex of researcher (Fisher exact p-value = 0.02).
Conclusions
The emergent data from this study is a cause for serious concern and calls for prompt intervention. The best response to reducing scientific misconduct will proceed from measures that contain both elements of prevention and enforcement. Training on research ethics has to be integrated into the curriculum of undergraduate and postgraduate students while provision should be made for in-service training of researchers. Penalties against acts of scientific misconduct should be enforced at institutional and national levels.
doi:10.1111/j.1471-8847.2012.00339.x
PMCID: PMC3530634  PMID: 22994914
bioethics; developing world; clinical; developing world bioethics; research ethics
6.  Attitudes of Pakistani and Pakistani heritage medical students regarding professionalism at a medical college in Karachi, Pakistan 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:150.
Background
An increased interest in professionalism has been reported in the field of medical education due to concerns regarding deterioration of humanism and professional values in the teaching and practice of medicine. The primary aim of this study was to assess attitudes of Pakistani and Pakistani heritage students at a medical college in Pakistan about important elements of professionalism that an ideal medical doctor should possess. A further objective of the study was to determine students’ preferred ways of learning professionalism.
Methods
A written survey was distributed to undergraduate medical students at a public sector medical college at Karachi, Pakistan in 2011. Using the Penn State College of Medicine (PSCOM) Professionalism Questionnaire, attitudes of medical students of semester 1, 5, and 8 regarding professionalism were assessed anonymously.
Results
The mean age of the students was 21.11 ± 2.72 years. Forty-three percent of the respondents were male. Forty percent of the students held Pakistani citizenship. Thirty-five percent students were US citizens with Pakistani parents and twenty-five percent were Pakistani heritage students that had dual citizenships. No significant differences in the elements of professionalism (Accountability, Altruism, Duty, Excellence, Honesty & Integrity and Respect) mean scores or in the overall mean score of professionalism among the various classes were found. The total overall Cronbach alpha value for all elements of the professionalism in the selected classes was above 0.9. The most preferred methods for learning professionalism were role modeling by faculty, case based scenarios and role plays.
Conclusion
The students rated all the attributes of professionalism as important and there was no difference across the study years. The overall internal consistency of each element of professionalism was high in different classes. Faculty role models, case based scenarios and role plays may be used to teach professionalism. As a great majority of students were having a Pakistani heritage rather than complete Pakistani born and bred background, hence findings of the survey may not be taken as representative of typical Pakistani medical students.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-150
PMCID: PMC3995519  PMID: 24628768
Professionalism; Attributes; Medical education; Undergraduate medical students; Pakistan
7.  Reporting Misconduct of a Coworker to Protect a Patient: A Comparison between Experienced Nurses and Nursing Students 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:413926.
Purpose. Whistleblowing is the reporting of illegal, immoral, or illegitimate practices to persons or organizations that may affect the action. The current study compares experienced nurses to nursing students regarding their willingness to blow the whistle to protect a patient's interests. Methods. 165 participants were divided into two groups: 82 undergraduate nursing students and 83 experienced nurses. Participants responded to two vignettes that described a colleague's and a manager's misconduct at work. Results. The nursing students perceived the severity of the misconduct significantly lower compared to the experienced nurses. The nursing students also ranked the internal and external whistleblowing indices higher than the nurses, but the differences did not reach statistical significance. For each of the examined internal and external indices, professional experience was found to be significant in multivariate regression analyses. Conclusions. Even though nursing students perceived the severity of the misconduct significantly lower than the experienced nurses, the students demonstrated a greater readiness to blow the whistle, both internally and externally. Recommendations for handling comparable situations are offered.
doi:10.1155/2014/413926
PMCID: PMC4214042  PMID: 25379527
8.  Scientific misconduct from the perspective of research coordinators: a national survey 
Journal of Medical Ethics  2007;33(6):365-369.
Objective
To report results from a national survey of coordinators and managers of clinical research studies in the US on their perceptions of and experiences with scientific misconduct.
Methods
Data were collected using the Scientific Misconduct Questionnaire‐Revised. Eligible responses were received from 1645 of 5302 (31%) surveys sent to members of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals and to subscribers of Research Practitioner, published by the Center for Clinical Research Practice, between February 2004 and January 2005.
Findings
Overall, the perceived frequency of misconduct was low. Differences were noted between workplaces with regard to perceived pressures on investigators and research coordinators, and on the effectiveness of the regulatory environment in reducing misconduct. First‐hand experience with an incident of misconduct was reported by 18% of respondents. Those with first‐hand knowledge of misconduct were more likely to report working in an academic medical setting, and to report that a typical research coordinator would probably do nothing if aware that a principal investigator or research staff member was involved in an incident of misconduct.
Conclusion
These findings expand the knowledge on scientific misconduct by adding new information from the perspective of research coordinators. The findings provide some data supporting the influence of workplace climate on misconduct and also on the perceived effectiveness of institutional policies to reduce scientific misconduct.
doi:10.1136/jme.2006.016394
PMCID: PMC2598278  PMID: 17526690
9.  Association of Medical Students' Reports of Interactions with the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Industries and Medical School Policies and Characteristics: A Cross-Sectional Study 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(10):e1001743.
Aaron Kesselheim and colleagues compared US medical students' survey responses regarding pharmaceutical company interactions with the schools' AMSA PharmFree scorecard and Institute on Medicine as a Profession's (IMAP) scores.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Professional societies use metrics to evaluate medical schools' policies regarding interactions of students and faculty with the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. We compared these metrics and determined which US medical schools' industry interaction policies were associated with student behaviors.
Methods and Findings
Using survey responses from a national sample of 1,610 US medical students, we compared their reported industry interactions with their schools' American Medical Student Association (AMSA) PharmFree Scorecard and average Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) Conflicts of Interest Policy Database score. We used hierarchical logistic regression models to determine the association between policies and students' gift acceptance, interactions with marketing representatives, and perceived adequacy of faculty–industry separation. We adjusted for year in training, medical school size, and level of US National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. We used LASSO regression models to identify specific policies associated with the outcomes. We found that IMAP and AMSA scores had similar median values (1.75 [interquartile range 1.50–2.00] versus 1.77 [1.50–2.18], adjusted to compare scores on the same scale). Scores on AMSA and IMAP shared policy dimensions were not closely correlated (gift policies, r = 0.28, 95% CI 0.11–0.44; marketing representative access policies, r = 0.51, 95% CI 0.36–0.63). Students from schools with the most stringent industry interaction policies were less likely to report receiving gifts (AMSA score, odds ratio [OR]: 0.37, 95% CI 0.19–0.72; IMAP score, OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.19–1.04) and less likely to interact with marketing representatives (AMSA score, OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.15–0.69; IMAP score, OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.14–0.95) than students from schools with the lowest ranked policy scores. The association became nonsignificant when fully adjusted for NIH funding level, whereas adjusting for year of education, size of school, and publicly versus privately funded school did not alter the association. Policies limiting gifts, meals, and speaking bureaus were associated with students reporting having not received gifts and having not interacted with marketing representatives. Policy dimensions reflecting the regulation of industry involvement in educational activities (e.g., continuing medical education, travel compensation, and scholarships) were associated with perceived separation between faculty and industry. The study is limited by potential for recall bias and the cross-sectional nature of the survey, as school curricula and industry interaction policies may have changed since the time of the survey administration and study analysis.
Conclusions
As medical schools review policies regulating medical students' industry interactions, limitations on receipt of gifts and meals and participation of faculty in speaking bureaus should be emphasized, and policy makers should pay greater attention to less research-intensive institutions.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Making and selling prescription drugs and medical devices is big business. To promote their products, pharmaceutical and medical device companies build relationships with physicians by providing information on new drugs, by organizing educational meetings and sponsored events, and by giving gifts. Financial relationships begin early in physicians' careers, with companies providing textbooks and other gifts to first-year medical students. In medical school settings, manufacturers may help to inform trainees and physicians about developments in health care, but they also create the potential for harm to patients and health care systems. These interactions may, for example, reduce trainees' and trained physicians' skepticism about potentially misleading promotional claims and may encourage physicians to prescribe new medications, which are often more expensive than similar unbranded (generic) drugs and more likely to be recalled for safety reasons than older drugs. To address these and other concerns about the potential career-long effects of interactions between medical trainees and industry, many teaching hospitals and medical schools have introduced policies to limit such interactions. The development of these policies has been supported by expert professional groups and medical societies, some of which have created scales to evaluate the strength of the implemented industry interaction policies.
Why Was This Study Done?
The impact of policies designed to limit interactions between students and industry on student behavior is unclear, and it is not known which aspects of the policies are most predictive of student behavior. This information is needed to ensure that the policies are working and to identify ways to improve them. Here, the researchers investigate which medical school characteristics and which aspects of industry interaction policies are most predictive of students' reported behaviors and beliefs by comparing information collected in a national survey of US medical students with the strength of their schools' industry interaction policies measured on two scales—the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) PharmFree Scorecard and the Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) Conflicts of Interest Policy Database.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers compared information about reported gift acceptance, interactions with marketing representatives, and the perceived adequacy of faculty–industry separation collected from 1,610 medical students at 121 US medical schools with AMSA and IMAP scores for the schools evaluated a year earlier. Students at schools with the highest ranked interaction policies based on the AMSA score were 63% less likely to accept gifts as students at the lowest ranked schools. Students at the highest ranked schools based on the IMAP score were about half as likely to accept gifts as students at the lowest ranked schools, although this finding was not statistically significant (it could be a chance finding). Similarly, students at the highest ranked schools were 70% less likely to interact with sales representatives as students at the lowest ranked schools. These associations became statistically nonsignificant after controlling for the amount of research funding each school received from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Policies limiting gifts, meals, and being a part of speaking bureaus (where companies pay speakers to present information about the drugs for dinners and other events) were associated with students' reports of receiving no gifts and of non-interaction with sales representatives. Finally, policies regulating industry involvement in educational activities were associated with the perceived separation between faculty and industry, which was regarded as adequate by most of the students at schools with such policies.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that policies designed to limit industry interactions with medical students need to address multiple aspects of these interactions to achieve changes in the behavior and attitudes of trainees, but that policies limiting gifts, meals, and speaking bureaus may be particularly important. These findings also suggest that the level of NIH funding plays an important role in students' self-reported behaviors and their perceptions of industry, possibly because institutions with greater NIH funding have the resources needed to implement effective policies. The accuracy of these findings may be limited by recall bias (students may have reported their experiences inaccurately), and by the possibility that industry interaction policies may have changed in the year that elapsed between policy grading and the student survey. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that limitations on gifts should be emphasized when academic medical centers refine their policies on interactions between medical students and industry and that particular attention should be paid to the design and implementation of policies that regulate industry interactions in institutions with lower levels of NIH funding.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001743.
The UK General Medical Council provides guidance on financial and commercial arrangements and conflicts of interest as part of its good medical practice document, which describes what is required of all registered doctors in the UK
Information about the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Just Medicine campaign (formerly the PharmFree campaign) and about the AMSA Scorecard is available
Information about the Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) and about its Conflicts of Interest Policy Database is also available
“Understanding and Responding to Pharmaceutical Promotion: A Practical Guide” is a manual prepared by Health Action International and the World Health Organization that medical schools can use to train students how to recognize and respond to pharmaceutical promotion
The US Institute of Medicine's report “Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice” recommends steps to identify, limit, and manage conflicts of interest
The ALOSA Foundation provides evidence-based, non-industry-funded education about treating common conditions and using prescription drugs
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001743
PMCID: PMC4196737  PMID: 25314155
10.  The effect of medical students’ gender, ethnicity and attitude towards poetry-reading on the evaluation of a required, clinically-integrated poetry- based educational intervention 
BMC Medical Education  2014;14(1):188.
Background
Art -based interventions are widely used in medical education. However, data on the potential effects of art-based interventions on medical students have been limited to small qualitative studies on students’ evaluation of elective programs, and thus their findings may be difficult to generalize. The goal of this study is to examine, in an unselected students’ population, the effect of students’ gender, ethnicity and attitude towards poetry on their evaluation of a clinically-integrated poetry-based educational intervention.
Methods
A required Clinically- Oriented Poetry-reading Experience (COPE) is integrated into the 4th year internal medicine clerkship. We constructed a questionnaire regarding the program’s effects on students. Students completed the questionnaire at the end of the clerkship. We performed a Confirmatory Factor Analysis, and examined the relationship between students’ evaluation of the program and students’ ethnicity, gender, attitude towards poetry-reading, and the timing of the program (early/late) during the fourth year.
Results
144 students participated in the program, of which 112 completed the questionnaires. We identified two effect factors: “student-patient” and “self and colleagues”. The average score for “student-patient” factor was significantly higher as compared to the “self and colleagues” factor.
Evaluation the “student- patient” effect factor was higher among Arab and Druze as compared to Jewish students. Students’ attitude towards poetry-reading did not correlate with the “student-patient” effect, but correlated with the “self and colleagues” effect. The evaluation of the “self and colleagues” effect was higher among students who participated in the program during their second as compared with the first clerkship. Students’ gender was not associated with any of the effects identified. Students favored obligatory participation in COPE as compared with elective course format.
Conclusions
According to students’ evaluation, a format of integrated, obligatory poetry-based intervention may be suitable for enhancing “student-patient” aims in heterogeneous student populations. The higher evaluation of the “patient-student” effect among Arab and Druze as compared to Jewish students may be related to cultural differences in the perception of this component of medical professionalism. Further research can provide insight into the effect of cultural and ethnic differences on actual empathy of medical students in patient encounters.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-188
PMCID: PMC4176599  PMID: 25223335
Art-based intervention; Poetry; Medical humanities; Medical education
11.  Who would students ask for help in academic cheating? Cross-sectional study of medical students in Croatia 
BMC Medical Education  2014;14:1048.
Background
Academic cheating does not happen as an isolated action of an individual but is most often a collaborative practice. As there are few studies that looked at who are collaborators in cheating, we investigated medical students’ readiness to engage others in academic dishonest behaviours.
Methods
In a cross-sectional survey study in Zagreb, Croatia, 592 medical students from the first, 3rd and 6th (final) study year anonymously answered a survey of readiness to ask family, friends, colleagues or strangers for help in 4 different forms of academic cheating or for 2 personal material favours. Stepwise multiple linear regression models (MLR) were used to evaluate potential factors influencing propensity for engaging others in these two types of behaviour.
Results
Many students would ask another person for help in academic cheating, from 88.8% to 26.9% depending on a cheating behaviour. Students would most often ask a family member or friend for help in academic cheating. The same “helpers” were identified for non-academic related behaviour – asking for personal material favours. More respondents, however, would include three or four persons for asking help in academic cheating than for routine material favours. Score on material favours survey was the strongest positive predictor of readiness for asking help in academic cheating (stepwise MLR model; beta = 0.308, P < 0.0001) followed by extrinsic motivation (compensation) and male gender, whereas intrinsic motivation, year of study and grade point average were weak negative predictors.
Conclusions
Our study indicates that medical students are willing to engage more than one person in either close or distant relationships in academic cheating. In order to develop effective preventive measures to deter cheating at medical academic institutions, factors surrounding students’ preference towards academic cheating rather than routine favours should be further investigated.
doi:10.1186/s12909-014-0277-y
PMCID: PMC4322647  PMID: 25547735
12.  Knowledge and skills retention following Emergency Triage, Assessment and Treatment plus Admission course for final year medical students in Rwanda: a longitudinal cohort study 
Archives of disease in childhood  2014;99(11):993-997.
Aim
To determine whether, after the Emergency Triage, Assessment and Treatment plus Admission (ETAT+) course, a comprehensive paediatric life support course, final year medical undergraduates in Rwanda would achieve a high level of knowledge and practical skills and if these were retained. To guide further course development, student feedback was obtained.
Methods
Longitudinal cohort study of knowledge and skills of all final year medical undergraduates at the University of Rwanda in academic year 2011–2012 who attended a 5-day ETAT+ course. Students completed a precourse knowledge test. Knowledge and clinical skills assessments, using standardised marking, were performed immediately postcourse and 3–9 months later. Feedback was obtained using printed questionnaires.
Results
84 students attended the course and re-evaluation. Knowledge test showed a significant improvement, from median 47% to 71% correct answers (p<0.001). For two clinical skills scenarios, 98% passed both scenarios, 37% after a retake, 2% failed both scenarios. Three to nine months later, students were re-evaluated, median score for knowledge test 67%, not significantly different from postcourse (p>0.1). For clinical skills, 74% passed, with 32% requiring a retake, 8% failed after retake, 18% failed both scenarios, a significant deterioration (p<0.0001).
Conclusions
Students performed well on knowledge and skills immediately after a comprehensive ETAT+ course. Knowledge was maintained 3–9 months later. Clinical skills, which require detailed sequential steps, declined, but most were able to perform them satisfactorily after feedback. The course was highly valued, but several short courses and more practical teaching were advocated.
doi:10.1136/archdischild-2014-306078
PMCID: PMC4198299  PMID: 24925893
13.  Knowledge and skills retention following Emergency Triage, Assessment and Treatment plus Admission course for final year medical students in Rwanda: a longitudinal cohort study 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2014;99(11):993-997.
Aim
To determine whether, after the Emergency Triage, Assessment and Treatment plus Admission (ETAT+) course, a comprehensive paediatric life support course, final year medical undergraduates in Rwanda would achieve a high level of knowledge and practical skills and if these were retained. To guide further course development, student feedback was obtained.
Methods
Longitudinal cohort study of knowledge and skills of all final year medical undergraduates at the University of Rwanda in academic year 2011–2012 who attended a 5-day ETAT+ course. Students completed a precourse knowledge test. Knowledge and clinical skills assessments, using standardised marking, were performed immediately postcourse and 3–9 months later. Feedback was obtained using printed questionnaires.
Results
84 students attended the course and re-evaluation. Knowledge test showed a significant improvement, from median 47% to 71% correct answers (p<0.001). For two clinical skills scenarios, 98% passed both scenarios, 37% after a retake, 2% failed both scenarios. Three to nine months later, students were re-evaluated, median score for knowledge test 67%, not significantly different from postcourse (p>0.1). For clinical skills, 74% passed, with 32% requiring a retake, 8% failed after retake, 18% failed both scenarios, a significant deterioration (p<0.0001).
Conclusions
Students performed well on knowledge and skills immediately after a comprehensive ETAT+ course. Knowledge was maintained 3–9 months later. Clinical skills, which require detailed sequential steps, declined, but most were able to perform them satisfactorily after feedback. The course was highly valued, but several short courses and more practical teaching were advocated.
doi:10.1136/archdischild-2014-306078
PMCID: PMC4198299  PMID: 24925893
Medical Education; Accident & Emergency; Resuscitation; Low income populations; Rwanda
14.  Electronic health records in outpatient clinics: Perspectives of third year medical students 
Background
United States academic medical centers are increasingly incorporating electronic health records (EHR) into teaching settings. We report third year medical students' attitudes towards clinical learning using the electronic health record in ambulatory primary care clinics.
Methods
In academic year 2005–06, 60 third year students were invited to complete a questionnaire after finishing the required Ambulatory Medicine/Family Medicine clerkship. The authors elicited themes for the questionnaire by asking a focus group of third year students how using the EHR had impacted their learning. Five themes emerged: organization of information, access to online resources, prompts from the EHR, personal performance (charting and presenting), and communication with patients and preceptors. The authors added a sixth theme: impact on student and patient follow-up. The authors created a 21-item questionnaire, based on these themes that used a 5-point Likert scale from "Strongly Agree" to "Strongly Disagree". The authors emailed an electronic survey link to each consenting student immediately following their clerkship experience in Ambulatory Medicine/Family Medicine.
Results
33 of 53 consenting students (62%) returned completed questionnaires. Most students liked the EHR's ability to organize information, with 70% of students responding that essential information was easier to find electronically. Only 36% and 33% of students reported accessing online patient information or clinical guidelines more often when using the EHR than when using paper charts. Most students (72%) reported asking more history questions due to EHR prompts, and 39% ordered more clinical preventive services. Most students (69%) reported that the EHR improved their documentation. 39% of students responded that they received more feedback on their EHR notes compared to paper chart notes. Only 64% of students were satisfied with the doctor-patient communication with the EHR, and 48% stated they spent less time looking at the patient.
Conclusion
Third year medical students reported generally positive attitudes towards using the EHR in the ambulatory setting. They reported receiving more feedback on their electronic charts than on paper charts. However, students reported significant concerns about the potential impact of the EHR on their ability to conduct the doctor-patient encounter.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-8-13
PMCID: PMC2294117  PMID: 18373880
15.  Attitudes of medical students towards incentives offered by pharmaceutical companies- perspective from a developing nation- a cross sectional study 
BMC Medical Ethics  2014;15:36.
Background
A training physician has his first interaction with a pharmaceutical representative during medical school. Medical students are often provided with small gifts such as pens, calendars and books, as well as free lunches as part of drug promotion offers. Ethical impact of these transactions as perceived by young medical students has not been investigated in Pakistan before. This study aimed to assess the association of socio-demographic variables with the attitudes of medical students towards pharmaceutical companies and their incentives.
Methods
As part of a cross-sectional survey, a validated questionnaire previously used for assessing attitude of medical students towards pharmaceutical industry, was modified, pre-tested and distributed among consenting clinical year students at DUHS and AKU. Questions included acceptability of pharmaceutically sponsored gifts, events and tuition fee, and their impact on future prescription. Responses were graded as agree, disagree or neutral which were then scored according to the AMSA guidelines of ethical conduct.
Results
Out of a total of 353 targeted students 303 responded, corresponding to a response rate of 85.8%. Responses indicated that 42.7% students believed in no interaction with drug companies during medical school. However, 81% of students favored pharmaceutical sponsorship of student-body events/seminars at medical colleges. More than one-third of the students were comfortable receiving gifts from drug companies. Overall, the results of this study offer an interesting comparison between the students of a private medical school (AKU) and a public medical school (DUHS); AKU students exhibited a greater degree of mistrust towards drug information provided by pharmaceutical companies compared to DUHS students (p = 0.040). Furthermore, when asked if there was a need to incorporate guidelines in the undergraduate curriculum with regard to interaction with drug companies, 84.2% students at AKU agreed, compared to 54.9% at DUHS. Medical student Attitude Scores are more or less similar to each other independent of their various demographical differences.
Conclusion
This study highlights that medical students in our population have a high level of acceptability towards incentives offered by pharmaceutical industry and that formal guidance regarding the subject should be incorporated into medical curriculum.
doi:10.1186/1472-6939-15-36
PMCID: PMC4101871  PMID: 24885167
Pharmaceutical companies; Acceptability; Incentives; Attitudes; Medical students
16.  Medical student syndrome: fact or fiction? A cross-sectional study 
JRSM Open  2014;5(2):2042533313512480.
Objectives
It is often reported by medical practitioners that medical students develop hypochondriacal concerns and symptoms relating to diseases they are studying, a phenomenon labelled ‘medical student syndrome’. However, the evidence that this syndrome exists and particularly that it contributes to an increased number of consultations (as typical hypochondriasis does) is weak. The present study investigates this phenomenon in terms of differences between medical and non-medical students in help-seeking behaviour.
Design
Cross-sectional survey.
Setting
Three universities in London.
Participants
Medical students (n = 103), non-medical science student controls (n = 107) and law student controls (n = 78), all third-year undergraduates, were recruited from within their universities.
Main outcome measures
Help-seeking behaviour was measured using the ‘Health Anxiety Questionnaire’ reassurance-seeking behaviour subscale; the overall number of doctors’ visits made for new health complaints since beginning university; a new ‘Hypochondriacal and Help-Seeking Behaviour’ scoring-system, which asked questions pertaining to not just the number but the nature of consultations, identifying participants who had experienced health concerns that were disproportionate to the diseases diagnosed.
Results
No significant differences were found between medical students and either control group in any of the main outcome variables.
Conclusions
These findings fail to support the notion that medical students, more so than other students, seek medical advice for hypochondriacal health concerns. They are pertinent to clinicians due to the potentially negative consequences of incorrectly assuming medical students to behave in this way, including cursory evaluations and disintegration of the doctor–patient relationship.
doi:10.1177/2042533313512480
PMCID: PMC4012647  PMID: 25057368
hypochondriasis; medical student syndrome; medical students' disease; health anxiety; help-seeking
17.  A Broadly Implementable Research Course in Phage Discovery and Genomics for First-Year Undergraduate Students 
mBio  2014;5(1):e01051-13.
ABSTRACT
Engaging large numbers of undergraduates in authentic scientific discovery is desirable but difficult to achieve. We have developed a general model in which faculty and teaching assistants from diverse academic institutions are trained to teach a research course for first-year undergraduate students focused on bacteriophage discovery and genomics. The course is situated within a broader scientific context aimed at understanding viral diversity, such that faculty and students are collaborators with established researchers in the field. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Science Education Alliance Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science (SEA-PHAGES) course has been widely implemented and has been taken by over 4,800 students at 73 institutions. We show here that this alliance-sourced model not only substantially advances the field of phage genomics but also stimulates students’ interest in science, positively influences academic achievement, and enhances persistence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Broad application of this model by integrating other research areas with large numbers of early-career undergraduate students has the potential to be transformative in science education and research training.
IMPORTANCE
Engagement of undergraduate students in scientific research at early stages in their careers presents an opportunity to excite students about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and promote continued interests in these areas. Many excellent course-based undergraduate research experiences have been developed, but scaling these to a broader impact with larger numbers of students is challenging. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Science Education Alliance Phage Hunting Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science (SEA-PHAGES) program takes advantage of the huge size and diversity of the bacteriophage population to engage students in discovery of new viruses, genome annotation, and comparative genomics, with strong impacts on bacteriophage research, increased persistence in STEM fields, and student self-identification with learning gains, motivation, attitude, and career aspirations.
doi:10.1128/mBio.01051-13
PMCID: PMC3950523  PMID: 24496795
18.  Problem-based learning and larger student groups: mutually exclusive or compatible concepts – a pilot study 
Background
Problem-based learning is recognised as promoting integration of knowledge and fostering a deeper approach to life-long learning, but is associated with significant resource implications. In order to encourage second year undergraduate medical students to integrate their pharmacological knowledge in a professionally relevant clinical context, with limited staff resources, we developed a novel clustered PBL approach. This paper utilises preliminary data from both the facilitator and student viewpoint to determine whether the use of this novel methodology is feasible with large groups of students.
Methods
Students were divided into 16 groups (20–21 students/group) and were allocated a PBL facilitator. Each group was then divided into seven subgroups, or clusters, of 2 or 3 students wh each cluster being allocated a specific case. Each cluster was then provided with more detailed clinical information and studied an individual and distinct case-study. An electronic questionnaire was used to evaluate both student and facilitator perception of this clustered PBL format, with each being asked to rate the content, structure, facilitator effectiveness, and their personal view of the wider learning experience.
Results
Despite initial misgivings, facilitators managed this more complex clustered PBL methodology effectively within the time restraints and reported that they enjoyed the process. They felt that the cases effectively illustrated medical concepts and fitted and reinforced the students' pharmacological knowledge, but were less convinced that the scenario motivated students to use additional resources or stimulated their interest in pharmacology.
Student feedback was broadly similar to that of the facilitators; although they were more positive about the scenario stimulating the use of additional resources and an interest in pharmacology.
Conclusion
This clustered PBL methodology can be successfully used with larger groups of students. The key to success lies with challenging and well situated clinically relevant cases together with enthusiastic facilitators. Facilitator enjoyment of the PBL process may be related to adequate training and previous PBL experience, rather than academic background. The smaller number of facilitators required using this clustered PBL approach allows for facilitators with 'a belief in the philosophy of PBL' to volunteer which would again impact on the success of the process.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-8-35
PMCID: PMC2441620  PMID: 18564428
19.  Medical undergraduates’ use of behaviour change talk: the example of facilitating weight management 
Background
Obesity, an increasing problem worldwide, is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Management principally requires lifestyle (i.e. behavioural) changes. An evidence-base exists of behaviour change techniques for weight loss; however, in routine practice doctors are often unsure about effective treatments and commonly use theoretically-unfounded communication strategies (e.g. information-giving). It is not known if communication skills teaching during undergraduate training adequately prepares future doctors to engage in effective behaviour change talk with patients. The aim of the study was to examine which behaviour change techniques medical undergraduates use to facilitate lifestyle adjustments in obese patients.
Methods
Forty-eight medical trainees in their clinical years of a UK medical school conducted two simulated consultations each. Both consultations involved an obese patient scenario where weight loss was indicated. Use of simulated patients (SPs) ensured standardisation of key variables (e.g. barriers to behaviour change). Presentation of scenario order was counterbalanced. Following each consultation, students assessed the techniques they perceived themselves to have used. SPs rated the extent to which they intended to make behavioural changes and why. Anonymised transcripts of the audiotaped consultations were coded by independent assessors, blind to student and SP ratings, using a validated behaviour change taxonomy.
Results
Students reported using a wide range of evidence-based techniques. In contrast, codings of observed communication behaviours were limited. SPs behavioural intention varied and a range of helpful elements of student’s communication were revealed.
Conclusions
Current skills-based communication programmes do not adequately prepare future doctors for the growing task of facilitating weight management. Students are able to generalise some communication skills to these encounters, but are over confident and have limited ability to use evidence-based theoretically informed techniques. They recognise this as a learning need. Educators will need to tackle the challenges of integrating theoretically informed and evidence based behaviour change talk within medical training.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-13-7
PMCID: PMC3626629  PMID: 23347344
Behaviour change; Obesity; Undergraduate
20.  Personal health records in the preclinical medical curriculum: modeling student responses in a simple educational environment utilizing Google Health 
BMC Medical Education  2012;12:88.
Background
Various problems concerning the introduction of personal health records in everyday healthcare practice are reported to be associated with physicians’ unfamiliarity with systematic means of electronically collecting health information about their patients (e.g. electronic health records - EHRs). Such barriers may further prevent the role physicians have in their patient encounters and the influence they can have in accelerating and diffusing personal health records (PHRs) to the patient community. One way to address these problems is through medical education on PHRs in the context of EHR activities within the undergraduate medical curriculum and the medical informatics courses in specific. In this paper, the development of an educational PHR activity based on Google Health is reported. Moreover, student responses on PHR’s use and utility are collected and presented. The collected responses are then modelled to relate the satisfaction level of students in such a setting to the estimation about their attitude towards PHRs in the future.
Methods
The study was conducted by designing an educational scenario about PHRs, which consisted of student instruction on Google Health as a model PHR and followed the guidelines of a protocol that was constructed for this purpose. This scenario was applied to a sample of 338 first-year undergraduate medical students. A questionnaire was distributed to each one of them in order to obtain Likert-like scale data on the sample’s response with respect to the PHR that was used; the data were then further analysed descriptively and in terms of a regression analysis to model hypothesised correlations.
Results
Students displayed, in general, satisfaction about the core PHR functions they used and they were optimistic about using them in the future, as they evaluated quite high up the level of their utility. The aspect they valued most in the PHR was its main role as a record-keeping tool, while their main concern was related to the negative effect their own opinion might have on the use of PHRs by patients. Finally, the estimate of their future attitudes towards PHR integration was found positively dependent of the level of PHR satisfaction that they gained through their experience (rho = 0.524, p <0.001).
Conclusions
The results indicate that students support PHRs as medical record keeping helpers and perceive them as beneficial to healthcare. They also underline the importance of achieving good educational experiences in improving PHR perspectives inside such educational activities. Further research is obviously needed to establish the relative long-term effect of education to other methods of exposing future physicians to PHRs.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-12-88
PMCID: PMC3583812  PMID: 23009713
21.  Attitudes and perceptions of medical students about family medicine in Spain: protocol for a cross-sectional survey 
BMJ Open  2011;1(2):e000231.
Background
Despite the fact that family medicine (FM) has become established as a specialty in the past 25 years, this has not been reflected in the inclusion of the specialty in the majority of medical schools in Spain. Almost 40% of the students will work in primary care but, in spite of this, most universities do not have an assessed placement as such. There are only specific practice periods in health centres or some student-selected components with little weight in the overall curricula.
Objectives
To evaluate the attitudes and perceptions of medical students about FM in the health system and their perception about the need for specific training in FM at the undergraduate level. To explore change over time of these attitudes and perceptions and to examine potential predictive factors for change. Finally, we will review what teaching activity in FM is offered across the Spanish schools of medicine.
Methods
Descriptive cross-sectional survey. Each one of the different analyses will consist of two surveys: one for all the students in the first, third and fifth year of medical school in all the Spanish schools of medicine asking about their knowledge, perceptions and attitudes in relation to primary care and FM. There will be an additional survey for the coordinating faculty of the study in each university about the educational activities related to FM that are carried out in their centres. The repetition of the study every 2 years will allow for an analysis of the evolution of the cohort of students until they receive their degree and the potential predictive factors.
Discussion
This study will provide useful information for strategic planning decisions, content and educational methodology in medical schools in Spain and elsewhere. It will also help to evaluate the influence of the ongoing changes in FM, locally and at the European level, on the attitudes and perceptions of the students towards FM in Spain.
Article summary
Article focus
There is a need to explore further the reasons for which students choose a specific specialty for training and future practice. This protocol outlines the design of a cross-sectional survey to evaluate attitudes and perceptions of medical students about family medicine.
The project will assess the potential impact of medical school teaching on the final profiles of students, both in perceptions and expectations and in the choice of specialty.
Key messages
This is a protocol of a multicentre survey that will take place in Spanish medical schools. The study includes a survey for students and one for the coordinators of family medicine in each centre.
The repetition of the student survey every 2 years will allow for an analysis of the evolution of student cohorts until the end of their studies.
The results of this study will provide valuable information for curriculum development related to family medicine in the different schools of medicine and will help to prioritise those activities that are likely to be most effective for promoting this specialty.
Strengths and limitations of this study
The research team for this study includes coordinating faculty from 22 of the 27 universities throughout Spain. The study will be repeated every 2 years and will explore change over time of the issues addressed.
The principal limitations of this study are related to its design, of observational nature. The results observed will serve as hypotheses generating and cannot be regarded as definitive. Finally, the fact that the survey will be anonymous will impede the evaluation, at an individual level, of change over time.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000231
PMCID: PMC3278481  PMID: 22189348
22.  Perceptions of medical school graduates and students regarding their academic preparation to teach 
Postgraduate Medical Journal  2006;82(971):607-612.
Purpose
How medical students learn and develop the characteristics associated with good teaching in medicine is not well known. Information about this process can improve the academic preparation of medical students for teaching responsibilities. The purpose of this study was to determine how different experiences contributed to the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of medical school graduates and students regarding medical teaching.
Methods
A questionnaire was developed, addressing reliability and validity considerations, and given to first year residents and third year medical students (taught by those residents). Completed questionnaires were collected from 76 residents and 110 students (81% of the sample group). Item responses were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Results
Most residents (n = 54; 71%) positively viewed opportunities they had to practice teaching when they were seniors. Residents rated three activities for learning to teach highest: (1) observing teachers as they teach; (2) reviewing the material to be taught; and (3) directly teaching students; representing both individual and participatory ways of learning. Residents' self ratings of teaching behaviours improved over time and this self assessment by the residents was validated by the students' responses. Comparison between residents' self ratings and students' views of typical resident teaching behaviours showed agreement on levels of competence, confidence, and motivation. The students rated characteristics of enthusiasm, organisation, and fulfilment lower (p<0.002) than residents rated themselves.
Conclusions
The residents and students in this study viewed academic preparation for teaching responsibilities positively and showed agreement on characteristics of good teaching that may be helpful indicators in the process of developing medical teachers.
doi:10.1136/pgmj.2006.045393
PMCID: PMC2585736  PMID: 16954460
medical education, undergraduate; medical education, internship and residency; teaching methods; experiential learning; educational techniques
23.  Medical students’ personal choice for mode of delivery in Santa Catarina, Brazil: a cross-sectional, quantitative study 
BMC Medical Education  2012;12:57.
Background
The increase in overall rates of cesarean sections (CS) in Brazil causes concern and it appears that multiple factors are involved in this fact. In 2009, undergraduate students in the first and final years of medical school at the University of Santa Catarina answered questionnaires regarding their choice of mode of delivery. The aim of the study was to evaluate whether the education process affects decision-making regarding the waay of childbirth preferred by medical students.
Methods
A cross-sectional, quantitative study was conducted based on data obtained from questionnaires applied to medical students. The questions addressed four different scenarios in childbirth, as follows: under an uneventful pregnancy; the mode of delivery for a pregnant woman under their care; the best choice as a healthcare manager and lastly, choosing the birth of their own child. For each circumstance, there was an open question to explain their choice.
Results
A total of 189 students answered the questionnaires. For any uneventful pregnancy and for a pregnant woman under their care, 8.46% of the students would opt for CS. As a healthcare manager, only 2.64% of the students would recommend CS. For these three scenarios, the answers of the students in the first year did not differ from those given by students in the sixth year. In the case of the student’s own or a partner’s pregnancy, 41.4% of those in the sixth year and 16.8% of those in the first year would choose a CS. A positive association was found between being a sixth year student and a personal preference for CS according to logistic regression (OR = 2.91; 95%CI: 1.03–8.30). Pain associated with vaginal delivery was usually the reason for choosing a CS.
Conclusions
A higher number of sixth year students preferred a CS for their own pregnancy (or their partner’s) compared to first year students. Pain associated with vaginal delivery was the most common reason given for haven chosen a CS. The students’ preference for childbirth changed over time during their graduation in favor of cesarean sections. This finding deserves considerable attention when structuring medical education in Obstetrics.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-12-57
PMCID: PMC3552939  PMID: 22818043
Cesarean section; Women’s healthcare; Medical education; Obstetrics
24.  Fraud, misconduct or normal science in medical research--an empirical study of demarcation. 
Journal of Medical Ethics  1999;25(6):501-506.
OBJECTIVES: To study and describe how a group of senior researchers and a group of postgraduate students perceived the so-called "grey zone" between normal scientific practice and obvious misconduct. DESIGN: A questionnaire concerning various practices including dishonesty and obvious misconduct. The answers were obtained by means of a visual analogue scale (VAS). The central (two quarters) of the VAS were designated as a grey zone. SETTING: A Swedish medical faculty. SURVEY SAMPLE: 30 senior researchers and 30 postgraduate students. RESULTS: Twenty of the senior researchers and 25 of the postgraduate students answered the questionnaire. In five cases out of 14 the senior researchers' median was found to be clearly within the interval of the grey zone, compared with three cases for the postgraduate students. Three examples of experienced misconduct were provided. Compared with postgraduate students, established researchers do not call for more research ethical guidelines and restrictions. CONCLUSION: Although the results indicate that consensus exists regarding certain obvious types of misconduct the response pattern also indicates that there is no general consensus on several procedures.
PMCID: PMC479303  PMID: 10635506
25.  Effects of participation in a cross year peer tutoring programme in clinical examination skills on volunteer tutors' skills and attitudes towards teachers and teaching 
Background
Development of students' teaching skills is increasingly recognised as an important component of UK undergraduate medical curricula and, in consequence, there is renewed interest in the potential benefits of cross-year peer tutoring. Whilst several studies have described the use of cross-year peer tutoring in undergraduate medical courses, its use in the clinical setting is less well reported, particularly the effects of peer tutoring on volunteer tutors' views of teachers and teaching. This study explored the effects of participation in a cross-year peer tutoring programme in clinical examination skills ('OSCE tutor') on volunteer tutors' own skills and on their attitudes towards teachers and teaching.
Methods
Volunteer tutors were final year MBChB students who took part in the programme as part of a Student Selected Component (SSC). Tutees were year 3 MBChB students preparing for their end of year 'OSCE' examination. Pre and post participation questionnaires, including both Likert-type and open response questions, were used. Paired data was compared using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. All tests were two-tailed with 5% significance level.
Results
Tutors reflected their cohort in terms of gender but were drawn from among the more academically successful final year students. Most had previous teaching experience. They were influenced to participate in 'OSCE tutor' by a desire to improve their own teaching and associated generic skills and by contextual factors relating to the organisation or previous experience of the OSCE tutor programme. Issues relating to longer term career aspirations were less important. After the event, tutors felt that participation had enhanced their skills in various areas, including practical teaching skills, confidence in speaking to groups and communication skills; and that as a result of taking part, they were now more likely to undertake further teacher training and to make teaching a major part of their career. However, whilst a number of students reported that their views of teachers and teaching had changed as a result of participation, this did not translate into significant changes in responses to questions that explored their views of the roles and qualities required of a good clinical teacher.
Conclusion
Findings affirm the benefits to volunteer tutors of cross-year peer tutoring, particularly in terms of skills enhancement and reinforcement of positive attitudes towards future teaching responsibilities, and have implications for the design and organisation of such programmes.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-7-20
PMCID: PMC1925072  PMID: 17598885

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