Abuse of medical students in Bulgaria

Elia Krasimirova Georgieva and Diana Asenova Dimitrova

Medical students often face high levels of abuse, which affect their health and well-being. We performed this study to analyze the prevalence of mistreatment among students in Medical Faculty- Sofia. Cross-sectional web-based study was carried out in 2015 with 257 medical students at the Faculty of Public Health- Sofia. Relation between variables was assessed with chi-square test with a significance level of p <0.05. At least one episode of mistreatment was reported by 66 % of the medical students. The most common source of mistreatment was assistant professors, followed by professors. There was no association between abuse and sex and the presence of a parent physician. Sixth year students reported for more mistreatment than third course ones. Abuse was related to worse mental health of students and thoughts for quitting the study of medicine. The most common forms of mistreatment were "unfair critic", "attempts to underestimate or belittle the work done by students", “undervaluing of student's efforts”, “denial of information” and "sarcasm and humiliation". To improve the learning environment it's important to prevent medical student's abuse in the future. We recommend introduction of policies against abuse in Medical Faculty-Sofia.

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