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ERIC Number: ED550019
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 139
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2671-8557-0
Recovering from Loss: A Qualitative Study Examining Student Loss While in Medical School
Yokota, Mitsue
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
Recovering from the loss of a loved one can be difficult for anyone, but it can be especially trying for individuals already dealing with elevated levels of stress. Various studies have looked at the causes of stress in medical school students, but little has been done to understand the adjustments these students undergo after experiencing the loss of a loved one. Through semi-structured retrospective interviews, this study examined the experiences of medical students who lost a loved one during their medical school careers. The objective was to understand these students' experiences and how they were affected by the institutional supports they did or did not receive. Student reflections were compared to key administrators' reports of common practices for supporting students in these situations. Data were evaluated to identify gaps between what supports currently exist and what supports are needed, and to determine what actions can be taken in the future to aid these students. The results of the study show that situational, personal, and interpersonal factors all influenced bereavement outcomes. Additionally, factors unique to medical school also played a role in bereavement outcomes. Specifically, students' perceptions of the culture of medicine impacted their decisions about whether or not to share their experiences of loss. Because the disclosure of loss is often what leads to access to support services, it is recommended that student affairs administrators at medical schools try to normalize the use of support services to increase usage. To this end, suggestions include consistently communicating what students should do when they encounter unexpected life events, formalizing a student affairs follow-up plan for students' return, and tightening communication with affiliate programs and clerkship sites to report losses to the student affairs office. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A