Medical students in the emergency department: How do patients view participation in clinical teaching?
A survey was carried out in the Emergency Department (ED) of a single urban Irish teaching hospital to determine patients' acceptability towards medical students and their attitudes towards participating in clinical teaching. We analysed 145 patient replies and found 45 (31%) patients with previous ED medical student contact. Amongst these, 23/45 (51%) did not have verbal consent before being seen, 8/45 (18%) experienced pressure to participate but overall 35/45 (78%) felt their experience was a positive one. When patients who did not have previous contact with medical students were included in the analysis, receptiveness to student examination and procedures remained high [119 (82%) and 102 (70%) respectively] despite almost none of the patients recalled reading information about participating in medical teaching. Up to 52% patients would vary their consent depending on the severity of their clinical complaint but the majority, 104 (81%) patients were satisfied that involving medical students would not alter their clinical care.
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