Identifying gaps in chronic pain-centered medical education through analysis of student perspectives
Keywords:chronic pain, curricula, UGME, McMaster, education
Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons for seeking medical care in Canada and the United States, yet the Canadian Pain Task Force reported there are still insufficiencies in health care pain curricula. Given that 1 in 5 Canadians suffer from chronic pain and 40-80% of chronic pain patients are misdiagnosed, a voluntary survey was conducted with 168 McMaster undergraduate medical students to gain insight into how these students perceive chronic pain-specific curricula and their confidence in managing chronic pain patients.
Overall, this study’s results demonstrated that on average, the participants had low ratings in their confidence in chronic pain-related skills. Students generally supported more education in this area through chronic pain workshops, pain-focused tutorial objectives, and more dedicated lecture time.
This study will help future undergraduate medical students by identifying gaps in McMaster chronic pain education to improve their abilities to confidently manage such patients as well as by recommending program changes to the existing curricula.