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Emotional Processing — The Use of Balint Groups for Medical Students as a Means for Improving Interpersonal and Communication Skills and Competence

Abstract

Background

Academic and emotional burdens are common in medical school.

Purpose

We created a course for medical students based upon the principles of Balint groups to aid students in their introduction to the clinical ward.

Methods

To evaluate if the course helped students cope with their new environment, we used a semi-structured debriefing questionnaire and a competence and readiness questionnaire.

Results

Before the course, students were skeptical, but acknowledged the need for training in stress management. At the end of the course, students revealed a similar picture, but reported that they felt comfortable enough to share their feelings with peers, and that the group built a trustworthy relationship.

Conclusions

We found that using Balint groups as a stress management technique for medical students entering their clinical phase of studies is both feasible and efficient.

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Correspondence to Zvi H. Perry M.D., M.A..

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Perry, Z.H., Lauden, A. & Arbelle, S. Emotional Processing — The Use of Balint Groups for Medical Students as a Means for Improving Interpersonal and Communication Skills and Competence. ANN BEHAV SCI MED EDUC 19, 16–21 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03355251

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Key words

  • medical students
  • Balint groups
  • communication