In a survey of the incidence, severity, and significance of medical student abuse as perceived by the student population of one major medical school, 46.4% of all respondents stated that they had been abused at some time while enrolled in medical school, with 80.6% of seniors reporting being abused by the senior year. More than two thirds (69.1%) of those abused reported that at least one of the episodes they experienced was of "major importance and very upsetting." Half (49.6%) of the students indicated that the most serious episode of abuse affected them adversely for a month or more; 16.2% said that it would "always affect them." Students identified various types of abuse and proposed a number of measures for the prevention and management of abuse in medical school. We conclude that medical student abuse was perceived by these students to be a significant cause of stress and should be a major concern of those involved with medical student education.