Introduction: Research in regard to medical students’ trust in their institution and willingness to follow the presented curriculum is currently lacking, yet the student-school trust dynamic may offer potential insight into the academic performance, study methods, and clinical confidence of future physicians. We are conducting a series of surveys and interviews to gather information from pre-clerkship students concerning trust in their medical institution, and how trust shapes their interaction with the curriculum. Methods: The initial phase of this research included a survey designed to gauge their trust in the curriculum and institution related to board exam preparation. Analysis of the survey responses prompted an exploration into the following themes: trust in institution vs. third-party resources, resolving discrepancies between these resources, and approaches to teaching that lend to students’ confidence in curriculum. Our research is still on-going and consists of a focus group design to discuss these themes. Results: The initial survey had 80 responses, and 60% of respondents indicated that they were Neutral or Disagreed that the school was “adequately preparing [students] for STEP 1”. The focus group indicated emphasis on institutional resources for academic success, supported by third party sources, and exposed themes of ‘consistency’ and ‘acknowledgement of STEP’ as supporting a comfortable and trustworthy learning environment. Discussion: It can be surmised that students perceived there to be a lack of harmony between the curriculum, as presented, and future board exams based on available data. This research could provide invaluable information to medical educators concerning students’ perception of best practices when creating and presenting material to optimize student reception and engagement with the curriculum. While this research is still in the early stages, our intent is to perform more focus group sessions to reach thematic saturation.
Howse, Hannah; Promise Bood; and Patrick Rendón. "The Influence of Institutional Trust on the Academic Decisions of Medical Students." (2021). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/hsc_ed_day/72