Patients are underutilised partners in community-based medical training

January 01, 0001

Patients are underutilised partners in community-based medical training

Community-based medical education is growing to meet the increased demand for quality clinical education in expanded settings, and its sustainability relies on patient participation. This questionnaire-based survey investigated patients’ views on being used as an educational resource for teaching medical students. It involved patients attending six rural and 11 regional general practices in New South Wales over 18 teaching sessions in November 2008, who consented to student involvement in their consultation.

118 of 122 patients consented to medical student involvement; of these, 117 (99%) completed a survey before the consultation, and 100 (85%) after the consultation. Patients were overwhelmingly positive about their doctor and practice being involved in student teaching and felt they themselves played an important role. Pre-consultation, patients expressed reluctance to allow students to conduct some or all aspects of the consultation independently. However, after the consultation, they reported they would have accepted higher levels of involvement than actually occurred.

The researchers concluded: "Patients in regional and rural settings were willing partners in developing skills of junior medical students, who had greater involvement in patient consultations than previously reported for urban students.

This is reassuring given that this is the trend that is occurring.

For the full abstract, click here.

MJA 192(3):150-153, 1 February 2010
© The Medical Journal of Australia 2010
Are patients willing participants in the new wave of community-based medical education in regional and rural Australia?. J Nicky Hudson, Kathryn M Weston, Elizabeth E Farmer, Rowena G Ivers and Russell W Pearson.

Category: PT. Professional Training. Keywords: patients, willing, participants, community based, medical education, students, questionnaire based survey, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 2 April 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.