Perspectives of Colombian medicine students about their formation on breaking bad news: A cross-sectional study

Perspectivas de los estudiantes de Medicina colombianos sobre su formación en dar malas noticias: un estudio trasversal


Medical schools are responsible for breaking bad news training, which should be focused on the students; therefore, the purpose of this study is to identify undergraduate medical students’ perceptions regarding the best way to train them.


Cross-sectional anonymous survey applied between 438 >18-years-old Colombian medicine students.


The students feel unprepared to breaking bad news; even without formal training, they believe they are better at breaking bad news as they advance in their training due to their observation of other clinicians and their personal experiences. A higher proportion of male students consider themselves empathetic than female students, but advanced male students report more frequently that their empathic capacity has decreased throughout their career more frequently than female students of the same academic level.


This information will allow the medical school to modify the curriculum to offer proper training to its students.


Very few students have received formal training regarding this topic, and most of them are interested in training.

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