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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 69

Patient Attitudes towards Medical Students in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

King Saud University, College of Medicine, Dept of Family & Community Medicine, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
H M Abdulghani
King Saud University, College of Medicine, Dept of Family & Community Medicine, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 19039740

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Context: A key element of medical education is patients' willingness to and cooperation in involving a medical student in their care. Objective: To assess patients' attitudes and their associated factors toward involving medical students in their care. Methods: This study was conducted over a period of two months in two hospitals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Six hundred patients were approached to participate in outpatient and inpatient settings of four medical specialty services. A pre-tested questionnaire was used to collect the data. Results: There were 492 respondents (82%), of whom 50% were males, 74% were married, and 51% were outpatients. Sixty percent identified medical students on the team of doctors that had treated them. Eighty-one percent of respondents felt that students' general appearance and manner were important to their willingness to have them participate in their care, and 64% would not object to the presence of medical students during physical examinations. Most (63%) preferred to be informed about students' involvement beforehand. Fifty-five percent believed that they had the right to refuse medical students, with women, married and less educated individuals and those seen in particular departments more likely to believe so. The preferred role for students also varied with gender, marital status and department. Conclusion: This study finds that most Saudi patients view medical students' involvement in their care positively. They prefer to be told in advance about students' presence, asked for their permission, and have students' involvement restricted to certain times.

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