What is an appropriate social scenario for staff and students at an Australian Rural Clinical School? A survey of 4th and 5th year medical student???s resident in rural Tasmania


Emma Beddows, Harry Laughlin, Alana Easthaugh, Darren Liew,Kim Robitschko, Michael Buist

Introduction: The degree of comfort that medical students have in different social settings with staff and faculty has not been documented. Methods: We undertook in 2012 a survey of 53, 4th and 5th year medical students at the University of Tasmanian Rural Clinical School to determine the incidence of previous inappropriate social invitations/interactions and perceptions of comfort to five different hypothetical social scenarios of different appropriateness. Results: Two students had received what they considered to be an inappropriate invitation. Most students were comfortable with communal public social situations. However, in an overt “date” scenario eight students were either completely at ease with or comfortable. 18 students although uncomfortable with this scenario would still attend and only 14 students would decline the invitation. Conclusion: There needs to be increased awareness that certain social interactions between health professionals when there is significant difference in hierarchy may not always be appropriate.