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1.  The influence of regional basic science campuses on medical students' choice of specialty and practice location: a historical cohort study 
Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) employs eight regional basic science campuses, where half of the students complete their first two years of medical school. The other half complete all four years at the main campus in Indianapolis. The authors tested the hypothesis that training at regional campuses influences IUSM students to pursue primary care careers near the regional campuses they attended.
Medical school records for 2,487 graduates (classes of 1988–1997) were matched to the 2003 American Medical Association Physician Masterfile to identify the medical specialty and practice location of each graduate. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to assess the effect of regional campus attendance on students' choice of medical specialty and practice location, while simultaneously adjusting for several covariates thought to affect these career outcomes.
Compared to Indianapolis students, those who attended a regional campus were somewhat more likely to be white, have parents with middle class occupations, and score slightly lower on the Medical College Admission Test. Any such differences were adjusted for in the regression models, which predicted that four of the regional campuses were significantly more likely than Indianapolis to produce family practitioners, and that five of the regional campuses were significantly more likely than the others to have former students practicing in the region. When analyzed collectively, attendance at any regional campus was a significant predictor of a primary care practice located outside the Indianapolis metropolitan area.
Attending a regional campus for preclinical training appears to increase the likelihood of practicing primary care medicine in local communities.
PMCID: PMC2700105  PMID: 19500392
2.  Evaluating the quality of interaction between medical students and nurses in a large teaching hospital 
Effective health care depends on multidisciplinary collaboration and teamwork, yet little is known about how well medical students and nurses interact in the hospital environment, where physicians-in-training acquire their first experiences as members of the health care team. The objective of this study was to evaluate the quality of interaction between third-year medical students and nurses during clinical rotations.
We surveyed 268 Indiana University medical students and 175 nurses who worked at Indiana University Hospital, the School's chief clinical training site. The students had just completed their third year of training. The survey instrument consisted of 7 items that measured "relational coordination" among members of the health care team, and 9 items that measured psychological distress.
Sixty-eight medical students (25.4%) and 99 nurses (56.6%) completed the survey. The relational coordination score (ranked 1 to 5, low to high), which provides an overall measure of interaction quality, showed that medical students interacted with residents the best (4.16) and with nurses the worst (2.98; p < 0.01). Conversely, nurses interacted with other nurses the best (4.36) and with medical students the worst (2.68; p < 0.01). Regarding measures of psychological distress (ranked 0 to 4, low to high), the interpersonal sensitivity score of medical students (1.56) was significantly greater than that of nurses (1.03; p < 0.01), whereas the hostility score of nurses (0.59) was significantly greater than that of medical students (0.39; p < 0.01).
The quality of interaction between medical students and nurses during third-year clinical rotations is poor, which suggests that medical students are not receiving the sorts of educational experiences that promote optimal physician-nurse collaboration. Medical students and nurses experience different levels of psychological distress, which may adversely impact the quality of their interaction.
PMCID: PMC1459856  PMID: 16638142
3.  A Family Day program enhances knowledge about medical school culture and necessary supports 
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.
Surveys that assessed knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes about medical school were administered to participants before and after the program.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC385242  PMID: 15070413

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