Medical Student Training in Domestic Violence: A Comparison of Students Entering Residency Training in 1995 and 2001

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Teaching and Learning in Medicine


Background: As domestic violence (DV) is frequently unrecognized by physicians, efforts to improve education on the topic have been undertaken. Purpose: To assess changes in medical education about DV. Methods: Incoming residents from 1995 (N = 52) and 2001 (N = 43) were surveyed regarding education and attitudes about DV. Results: The resident-reported emphasis on DV education increased significantly from 1995 to 2001. Hours devoted to the subject experienced no significant change. The likelihood they would ask female patients about DV and their competence in dealing with DV-specific situations experienced no significant improvement - both were rated below average. Conclusions: Although emphasis on medical education about DV has improved from 1995 to 2001, likelihood of screening and competence at dealing with DV has not improved. The content of undergraduate medical education about DV should be strengthened, and the educational process should continue during residency training. Copyright © 2004 by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

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