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Medical students' attitudes toward autopsy: How does experience with autopsies influence opinion?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Social Medicine.
1995 (English)In: Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, ISSN 0363-0153, Vol. 119, 851-858 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective. ― To assess the attitudes of medical students and compare them with those of resident physicians and the public. Design. ― A survey of medical students during the term following their pathology course. Data from this survey were compared with data from previous studies conducted with resident physicians and the public. Setting. ― The Medical School, Uppsala University, Sweden. Participants. ― Three cohorts of third-year medical students. Main Outcome Measures. ― (1) Evaluation of autopsy activities, (2) attitudes toward having an autopsy performed on oneself and a relative, and (3) discomfort reactions at the thought of having an autopsy performed on oneself. Results. ― The 129 respondents (response rate 75%) had a high appreciation of the autopsy and 90% accepted being autopsied themselves. The majority thought the autopsies were respectfully performed, but 75% still felt uneasy when confronted with an autopsy or when contemplating one on themselves. The more discomfort felt, the less willing respondents were to be autopsied and the fewer the reasons were given for agreeing to an autopsy. The students and the public had very similar response patterns. Both groups were more positive toward their own autopsy than were the residents. Conclusions.-Immediately after a course in pathology the usefulness of autopsies stands out clearly, but it seems that this opinion subsides when students become qualified doctors and feelings of uneasiness take over. The similarities between the students and the public were striking, but there were some differences that were obviously attributable to medical training.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1995. Vol. 119, 851-858 p.
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-53889OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-53889DiVA: diva2:81799
Available from: 2008-10-17 Created: 2008-10-17 Last updated: 2010-06-16Bibliographically approved

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