Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A transition course for fourth year medical students: Effects on anxiety and confidence levels in new interns

Whitney Bryant, MD, MPH, MEd
University of Cincinnati

Background: The transition from medical student to intern is generally acknowledged to be a time of great stress and anxiety. Many medical schools are adding educational interventions to attempt to lessen the difficult and unpleasant nature of this transition.

Aims: This study examined the impact of a month-long transition course for fourth year medical students on intern self-confidence and anxiety regarding the transition from medical student to intern, especially the care of difficult and/or acutely ill patients

Methods: Using a Likert scale survey instrument, as short answer questions, we surveyed students at the beginning and end of our course, as well as several months into residency. We compared their responses to their medical school peers on a similar time frame.

Results: We found that a transition course could significantly reduce anxiety and increase the confidence of fourth year medical students in their ability to care for critically ill patients. When compared to peers who did not take course, at a point several months into internship, course participants felt significantly more confident running a code and using the ACLS algorithms.

Conclusions: A transition course can positively impact the anxiety and self-confidence of fourth year medical students/interns regarding the care of critically ill patients.