Graduating Canadian medical students are generally happy with the quality of their training, according to a survey by the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC). However, more than 1 in 10 ranked their training in certain specialties as fair or poor.
Of the 2878 medical students eligible to graduate this year in Canada, 67.1% (1931) responded to the AFMC questionnaire. About two-thirds rated their overall medical education as very good or excellent, but they were less satisfied with their training in some specialties. Just over 16% rated their training in surgery and obstetrics and gynecology as fair or poor, while 12.9% gave similarly low marks to pediatrics and 11.6% to psychiatry.
A lack of timely feedback in some specialties may be part of the problem. More than 1 in 10 graduating students disagreed that they received feedback early enough to improve their performance in obstetrics and gynecology (10.5%) and surgery (13.2%).
More than a quarter of graduating students also reported receiving inadequate training in health policy (29.6%), health care systems (25.9%), law and medicine (28.4%), and complementary and alternative medicine (31.1%). Nearly 1 in 5 said they lacked confidence in their ability to counsel patients who use alternative therapies; and nearly 1 in 10 said they lacked confidence using technology to access information during patient encounters.
Overall, however, 95.4% of graduating students felt confident they had the clinical skills required to begin residency. Most also reported being satisfied or very satisfied with career planning services (77.7%) and knowing procedures for reporting mistreatment (83.5%).
Nearly 3 in 5 students indicated they personally experienced mistreatment from faculty, nurses, residents, staff or other students during their training. Among the most common types of mistreatment, 2 in 5 said they were publicly humiliated at least once and nearly a quarter were the target of sexist remarks.
Meanwhile, students were less positive about the wellness supports on offer at their schools; 1 in 4 were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with programs to promote effective stress management, a balanced lifestyle and overall well-being, up from 1 in 5 last year.
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