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Role of a medical student: patient perspectives

Evans, David, Owen, Stephanie and Green, John 2017. Role of a medical student: patient perspectives. Clinical Teacher 14 (4) , pp. 284-288. 10.1111/tct.12570

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Background Medical students form an important part of the medical team; however, patients may not be fully aware of their role. Identifying students in the clinical setting is difficult because of their similar attire to other health care professionals. This parity may introduce unethical scenarios where patients may be speaking and consenting to individuals whom they do not recognise as students. Methods A single-sided questionnaire was given to hospital in-patients during a 12-week period. Questions focused on the role of students. With their opinions, patients were given a list of clinical skills and asked whether or not they would allow a student to carry out these skills on themselves. The list included both required and non-required clinical skills by the General Medical Council (GMC). Results In total, 101 patients participated in the study: 34 males and 67 females. Age at admittance was 63.4 ± 18.0 years; 74.3 per cent of patients were able to identify a student, although 87.1 per cent believed that students should have a designated uniform. Patients were significantly more likely to allow a student to perform required skills on them, as opposed to non-required skills (p < 0.0001); however, previous contact with a medical student made no difference in the likelihood of consenting to a skill being performed. Identifying students in the clinical setting is difficult Conclusions The apparent trade-off between patient safety and providing students with learning opportunities has been of long standing concern. Patients consider GMC-required skills as largely appropriate; however, patients feel that students should be more identifiable, and increasing the awareness of the role and capabilities of a student in patient care is important.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1743-4971
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2019 13:05

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