School of Medicine

Study finds new #MDsToo curriculum sensitizes faculty members and residents to mistreatment

Le-Bucklin MDsToo curriculum
UCI School of Medicine
Khanh-Van Le-Bucklin, vice dean of medical education at the UCI School of Medicine, is co-author of the #MDsToo study.

New curriculum may provide framework for mistreatment prevention training

Irvine, Calif. —  September 14, 2020 —  In a new University of California, Irvine-led study, the #MDsToo curriculum, recently introduced by UCI’s School of Medicine, was successful in helping medical students recognize mistreatment that may have occurred during medical training, a problem that is pervasive nationwide. 

The findings, published in the August edition of The Clinical Teacher, suggest medical student mistreatment has detrimental effects on student well-being and poses a patient safety risk.  According to the Association of Medical Colleges, forty percent of medical school graduates in the U.S. report being mistreated during their training. 

UCI’s #MDsToo curriculum was developed to sensitize faculty members and residents to mistreatment, and may provide an effective design for mistreatment prevention training. However, multi‐institutional implementation and longitudinal outcome studies are still needed. 

During the MDsToo course, participants are introduced to the KIND (knowledge-sharing, inclusive, non-discriminatory, and developmentally appropriate) framework for modelling positive teacher-learner interactions and detecting mistreatment. Using KIND, faculty members and residents identify and categorize mistreatment in eight video cases depicting mistreatment and then reflect on their own experiences.

Upon completion of the course, 248 participants responded to a course survey.  Nearly half stated there were situations in their past that they did not recognize as mistreatment, but would now classify as mistreatment and were likely to report. The study found that that public humiliation, ethnic and gender discrimination were the three most prevalent forms of abuse.

“There are few publications describing interventions for addressing medical student mistreatment,” says Khanh-Van Le-Bucklin, vice dean of medical education at the UCI School of Medicine and co-author of the study. “Our study is focused on the development, implementation and assessment of a mistreatment prevention curriculum. A survey conducted after our training found that 94 percent of respondents wish their faculty members and residents had received this training when they were medical students.”

For students, mistreatment can lead to stress, burnout, depression, substance use and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Equally concerning, learners who work in a hostile environment are more likely to commit medical errors and are less likely to report errors committed by other members of the health care team.

About the UCI School of Medicine

Each year, the UCI School of Medicine educates more than 400 medical students, and nearly 150 doctoral and master’s students. More than 700 residents and fellows are trained at UCI Medical Center and affiliated institutions. The School of Medicine offers an MD; a dual MD/PhD medical scientist training program; and PhDs and master’s degrees in anatomy and neurobiology, biomedical sciences, genetic counseling, epidemiology, environmental health sciences, pathology, pharmacology, physiology and biophysics, and translational sciences. Medical students also may pursue an MD/MBA, an MD/master’s in public health, or an MD/master’s degree through one of three mission-based programs: the Health Education to Advance Leaders in Integrative Medicine (HEAL-IM), the Leadership Education to Advance Diversity-African, Black and Caribbean (LEAD-ABC), and the Program in Medical Education for the Latino Community (PRIME-LC). The UCI School of Medicine is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Accreditation and ranks among the top 50 nationwide for research. For more information, visit