Feelings of the Medical Student when in Contact with Practice

Isabela de Oliveira Kaluf Samantha Gurgel Oliveira Sousa Saturnino Luz Raquel Rangel Cesario About the authors


The current medical course curricula give students opportunities to gain practical experience with the SUS (Unified Health System) and with the people who use it. This interaction is generally referred to as “early contact” with patients. This early contact generates positive and negative feelings in the students. However, few Brazilian papers have addressed this issue. The purpose of this paper is to describe the feelings experienced by medical students of a private institution in the state of São Paulo, at three important times during the course: when they begin new activities with users of the SUS (1styear), during interactions with their local community in Primary Health Care, in the medical outpatient clinic (2nd year), and during the Internship (3rd year). Demographic identification data and data on the student’s feelings were collected at the beginning and end of the school year. The latter were classified as having low, medium or high intensity. The feelings investigated were boredom, happiness, benevolence, disillusionment, discouragement, unpreparedness, empathy, hope, helplessness, motivation, perplexity, rage, accomplishment, satisfaction and sadness. A total of 120 students participated in the study. The results indicate a wide range of feelings, with happiness, motivation and satisfaction being the most common positive ones over the three-year period, and discouragement, unpreparedness and boredom the most frequently mentioned negative feelings. There was also a strong intensity of positive feelings, and a reasonable or low intensity of negative feelings, which declined as the year progressed. Benevolence and hope were the least mentioned positive feelings, while perplexity, rage and sadness were the least predominant negative ones. These results do not match the high rate of mental disorders among medical students that is referred to the specialized literature, highlighting a need for further studies in this area, and for an enhancement of the field of practice with users of the Unified Health System during the professional training.

Undergraduate Medical Education; Medical Student; Emotions

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