Evaluation of First Year Medical Students' Perceptions of Problem Solving Skills and Submissive Behaviour Status

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TURKIYE KLINIKLERI TIP BILIMLERI DERGISI, vol.32, no.6, pp.1536-1544, 2012 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 32 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.5336/medsci.2011-25959
  • Page Numbers: pp.1536-1544


Objective: To acquire medical knowledge as well as being confident individuals with the ability of problem-solving is essential for medical students to become "good doctors". The aim of this study is to determine first year medical students' perceptions of problem solving skills, and submissive behaviors status; and to evaluate association of gender and age with those perceptions and status. Material and Methods: A total of 364 students participated in this cross-sectional study. Data were collected with Submissive Acts Scale (SAS) and Problem Solving Inventory (PSI). Student t-test, variance and correlation analyses were used for statistical analyses. Results: The average scores from scales were 84.24 +/- 17.85 for PSI and 39.70 +/- 8.40 for SAS. For PSI, scores of 66.7% of students were over the cutoff point, and for SAS 14.8% received higher scores than the expected mean of the scale. Of students, 11.9% were rating themselves as inapt/incompetent/incapable and also showing submissive behavior status. The PSI total mean score did not change by gender. However, when "Approach-Avoidance Style" subscale was assessed, boys exhibited more avoidance behavior compared to the girls (t=2.64, p=0.009). The SAS average scores were lower in female students (t=4.21, p=0.001). A weak positive correlation was found between the two scale scores used. Conclusion: Problem solving skills and assertiveness training programs should be developed in order to improve the existing problem-solving skills, specific to occupational area and to have confident physicians out of new students starting medical school.