Impact of the first year of medical school in the growth and personal development of students


María Teresa Cortés Gutiérrez1, Ileana Petra Micu2, Mariana Fouilloux Morales2, Aurora Farfán Márquez3, Allyson Cortés1

Objective: To study the differences in the development of medical students, when admitted into medical school and observe any statistically important changes that might have taken place during their first year in medical school. Instead of developing various scales to study these changes, we included in the questionnaire various scales that observed student’s abilities and aptitudes that many authors studied separately. Methods: This study brings together the following 10 scales: self-esteem, self-knowledge and emotional expression, commitment, creativity, resilience and coping, positive outlook on life, self-confidence, assertiveness and leadership, empathy and teamwork, social and interpersonal skills. It is a comparative study with 891 students. The study involves applying a 10-scale instrument with reliability coefficients between 0.617 and 0.786, at the beginning and at the end of the first year of medical school. The Wilcoxon test for paired samples was applied. Results: There was a decrease in self-esteem, commitment, positive outlook of life, self-confidence, teamwork, and social skills which was observed, and improvement in empathy. Conclusions: The first year affects students, which tends to diminish many of their abilities to confront academic difficulties. On the other hand, we can see an increase in their intentions to adapt through believing in themselves. In addition, if teachers collaborate in this endeavor, students could have a better chance of completing their first year adequately