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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 3644-3651

Participation of medical students in patient care: How do patients perceive it?

1 Medical Education Department, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
2 MBBS, Graduate of College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Muhammad Zafar Iqbal
Lecturer, Medical Education Department, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam; Bldg. (30), 3rd Floor, King Fahd University Hospital, Aqrabia, AlKhobar, P.O. Box: 2208 AlKhobar 31952.
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_130_20

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Introduction: Clinical teaching helps students develop clinical reasoning, decision-making, professionalism, empathy, and patient management. These benefits can only be obtained if patients show reasonable acceptance towards medical students. The aim of this study was to assess patients’ perceptions regarding their level of acceptance towards students’ participation in their healthcare. Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at King Fahd University hospital between December 2018 and March 2019. The data were collected via face-to-face interviews with patients from four clinical departments using a self-administered questionnaire. A total of 196 patients were approached for an interview, of whom 187 agreed to participate (a response rate of 95.4%). Results: Overall, patients showed a positive attitude towards students’ participation in their care. The acceptance rate was higher in cases where there was minimal or no student–patient physical contact, such as reading patient's medical records (88.8%) and attending outpatient clinics (83.3%). On the other hand, the refusal rate increased dramatically (from 11% to 43.3%) when permission was sought from patients to perform diagnostic procedures. In a comparison of specialties, the highest refusal rate was observed in the obstetrics/gynecology department, whereas the lowest refusal rate was observed in the pediatrics department. Conclusions: Patients seeking healthcare services in a tertiary care teaching hospital have an overall positive attitude towards the involvement of undergraduate students in their medical care. The higher refusal rate with regard to students performing a physical examination and diagnostic procedures is alarming and demands alternative clinical teaching solutions, such as simulation-based training.

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