Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 162–166 | Cite as

Medical Students Attend to Case-Based Psychosocial Information

A Prospective Study
  • Patricia B. Mullan
  • Arnold Werner
  • Elizabeth A. Seagull
Research Article


The authors describe a prospective study of medical students’ identification of the presence and importance of psychosocial information. They investigated the development of these skills over time in two successive academic cohorts, exploring the potential relationship of students’ performance on a cue-identification task to their self-reported interest in patients’ psychosocial concerns and to their academic performance in medical school. The absolute number of psychosocial cues students identified varied with the students’ training, but the importance that the students attributed to psychosocial cues increased over the time of their training. Their recognition of psychosocial cues as important correlated with academic performance in advanced clerkships and election to Alpha Omega Alpha. The results suggest that students are able to attend to psychosocial issues while performing well on traditional biomedical education measures.


Medical Student Academic Performance Academic Psychiatry Patient Case Adult Case 
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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia B. Mullan
    • 1
  • Arnold Werner
    • 2
  • Elizabeth A. Seagull
    • 3
  1. 1.Office of Medical Education Research and DevelopmentMichigan State University’s College of Human MedicineEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryMichigan State University’s College of Human MedicineEast LansingUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pediatrics and Human DevelopmentMichigan State University’s College of Human MedicineEast LansingUSA

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