Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 39, Issue 9, September 2010

Patient attitudes Training students in general practice

Kevin Sweeney Dimity Pond Parker J Magin
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While evidence from Australian studies is lacking, evidence from overseas suggests that patients are generally willing to have a medical student present during general practitioner consultations. This willingness, however, may be contingent upon factors related to the patient, student or consultation.
Supervising GPs should be aware of circumstances where patients are less likely to want a student present and of ways in which the presence of a student may alter the consultation.
Patients are willing to have students present, but not for all consultations. Patients find it problematic to have students present during consultations that involve worrying test results, emotional upset, internal examinations, and sexual problems. Younger patients are less willing to have a student present. For all patients the presence of a student may alter the dynamics and content of the consultation; patients are less willing to see a student without the GP also being present.

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