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Adams D S; Adams, L J; Anderson, R J
Academic Medicine: December 1999
Journal Article: PDF Only

PURPOSE: To ascertain the preconceptions of ambulatory patients seeking care in internal medicine practices toward medical students' participation in their care. METHOD: The authors developed a self-administered, seven-item survey that sought patients' demographic information and their attitudes toward medical students' participation in their ambulatory care. In 1998, this survey was given to patients seen at four distinct internal medicine ambulatory clinic settings. RESULTS: Analysis of 516 completed surveys found neutral responses to the statement: “I would benefit from having a medical student involved in my care.” Respondents indicated a lack of comfort in having medical students either answer their questions or examine them in the absence of a doctor. The responses did not differ when analyzed as a function of clinic site, age, gender, education, or annual income. Non-Caucasian respondents rated the benefit of having a student present significantly lower than did Caucasian respondents. They also indicated greater concern about being examined by a student alone, that the presence of a student would make the visit last longer, and that the gender of the student was important to them. CONCLUSIONS: Patients generally have neutral feelings as to whether they would benefit from medical students' participation in their ambulatory care. Caucasian patients are significantly more favorably inclined to medical student involvement than are non-Caucasian patients.

Created Date: 14 January 2000; Completed Date: 14 January 2000; Revised Date: 18 December 2000

© 1999 Association of American Medical Colleges