Dr. Remien’s Leadership College Project Abstract: Providing structured education for medical students on the treatment of sexual assault victims is critical to ensuring that student doctors are prepared to adequately address with the complex medical, psychological, and social aspects of their care. However, most medical schools within the United States fail to incorporate this key clinical knowledge into their curriculums. In this study, it was found that a wide spectrum of medical schools include little to no formal education on the treatment of sexual assault victims and many medical students do not feel comfortable treating these patients.

This educational gap leaves these already vulnerable patients at risk for inappropriate medical care and misinformation about their medical care, their legal options, and the public health resources that may be available to them. These patients also require a more advanced level of emotional support from their health care team, which requires a delicate and cautious approach that must be taught to ensure that re-traumatization is minimized. Medical students are often the first to interact with these patients and have the potential to establish a level of trust necessary to make the patient feel confident in the care that their healthcare team is to provide. This study reveals a clear need for the incorporation of a course within the preclinical years of medical school education to equip student doctors with the tools necessary to treat this unique patient population.

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