What do patients think of medical students during their hospitalization? One institution’s experience.

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What do patients think of medical students during their hospitalization? One institution's experience.

Am Surg. 2013 Dec;79(12):1235-7

Authors: Mora-Pinzon M, Lal A, Edquist S, Francescatti A, Hughes T, Hayden D, Brand M, Saclarides T

Multiple studies have shown patients have a positive attitude toward medical students in outpatient facilities, but it is unknown whether these results can be extrapolated to inpatients. The purpose of this study is to describe the patients' attitude toward medical students in the inpatient facility and factors that may affect it. A 43-item questionnaire was provided to patients of the general surgery department; it gathered demographics, clinical condition, and patients' opinions regarding the medical students' involvement in their care. Eighty-four patients completed the questionnaire. Forty-three per cent were males and the average age was 56 years old (range, 26 to 86 years). Sixty-one patients (72.6%) felt that having medical students enhanced the care provided. Patients' attitudes toward students were as follows: seven patients (8.3%) refused medical students, 40 (47.6%) accepted a limited involvement, and 37 (44%) offered no objections. Patients who refused medical students or preferred a limited involvement were more likely to 1) consider their health as good or excellent; 2) feel that the rounds were too early; and 3) feel that the residents did not spend enough time with them. More patients prefer that medical students have a limited involvement, especially when referring to minor procedures (e.g., nasogastric tube, intravenous line). Better more thorough communication with patients positively affects their attitudes toward students. More studies are required to confirm these results and to analyze other factors that may improve the patients' attitudes toward medical students.

PMID: 24351347 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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