Why is it Important to Teach Medical Students and Junior Doctors How to Ask Patients About Experiences of Abuse or Trauma?

Posted on:September 26, 2016
Last Updated: November 1, 2021
Time to read: 2 minutes

This piece had its genesis in the questions posed to co-author Associate Professor Mike Salzberg (Consultation-liaison psychiatrist) when teaching medical students and junior doctors. The issue at hand was if they should ask about a history of trauma such as sexual abuse, and how should they appropriately handle often sensitive disclosures from patients.

At the time, I was undertaking a registrar term in Consultation-liaison psychiatry and teamed up with A/Prof Salzberg, and later two other experts in the medical education field to review the literature around this and think about how we might stimulate further discussion in this area.