Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 5-2017


This study proposes an intervention in undergraduate education that could enhance doctor-patient interactions. This intervention would provide evidence, to pre-medical students, that social science training is important during medical school. Semi-structured interviews were conducted of six doctors from hospitals in the Maine. The goal was to determine whether or not taking more social science courses during an MD’s undergraduate education would result in better reported doctor satisfaction with their patient interactions. The interview questions were designed to encourage doctors to explain how they interact with patients and coworkers and to describe their undergraduate education. This information and the impressions that they made during the interview were evaluated to determine what their average doctor-patient interaction might look like. The information was analyzed under the context of their undergraduate education to uncover an early intervention to help create better doctors. A rubric was used to examine the interviews and to score aspects of the doctor’s main goals in patient interactions. It could not be determined whether or not more social science courses in undergraduate education would lead to better physicians. However, this information could be used to propose a new course that would aid in the training for particular skills that would lead to better patient interactions. Further research should be done using a larger sample size to identify more trends.

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Zoology Commons