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1.  Medical Students' Exposure to and Attitudes about the Pharmaceutical Industry: A Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(5):e1001037.
A systematic review of published studies reveals that undergraduate medical students may experience substantial exposure to pharmaceutical marketing, and that this contact may be associated with positive attitudes about marketing.
Background
The relationship between health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry has become a source of controversy. Physicians' attitudes towards the industry can form early in their careers, but little is known about this key stage of development.
Methods and Findings
We performed a systematic review reported according to PRISMA guidelines to determine the frequency and nature of medical students' exposure to the drug industry, as well as students' attitudes concerning pharmaceutical policy issues. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, and ERIC from the earliest available dates through May 2010, as well as bibliographies of selected studies. We sought original studies that reported quantitative or qualitative data about medical students' exposure to pharmaceutical marketing, their attitudes about marketing practices, relationships with industry, and related pharmaceutical policy issues. Studies were separated, where possible, into those that addressed preclinical versus clinical training, and were quality rated using a standard methodology. Thirty-two studies met inclusion criteria. We found that 40%–100% of medical students reported interacting with the pharmaceutical industry. A substantial proportion of students (13%–69%) were reported as believing that gifts from industry influence prescribing. Eight studies reported a correlation between frequency of contact and favorable attitudes toward industry interactions. Students were more approving of gifts to physicians or medical students than to government officials. Certain attitudes appeared to change during medical school, though a time trend was not performed; for example, clinical students (53%–71%) were more likely than preclinical students (29%–62%) to report that promotional information helps educate about new drugs.
Conclusions
Undergraduate medical education provides substantial contact with pharmaceutical marketing, and the extent of such contact is associated with positive attitudes about marketing and skepticism about negative implications of these interactions. These results support future research into the association between exposure and attitudes, as well as any modifiable factors that contribute to attitudinal changes during medical education.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
The complex relationship between health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry has long been a subject of discussion among physicians and policymakers. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that physicians' interactions with pharmaceutical sales representatives may influence clinical decision making in a way that is not always in the best interests of individual patients, for example, encouraging the use of expensive treatments that have no therapeutic advantage over less costly alternatives. The pharmaceutical industry often uses physician education as a marketing tool, as in the case of Continuing Medical Education courses that are designed to drive prescribing practices.
One reason that physicians may be particularly susceptible to pharmaceutical industry marketing messages is that doctors' attitudes towards the pharmaceutical industry may form early in their careers. The socialization effect of professional schooling is strong, and plays a lasting role in shaping views and behaviors.
Why Was This Study Done?
Recently, particularly in the US, some medical schools have limited students' and faculties' contact with industry, but some have argued that these restrictions are detrimental to students' education. Given the controversy over the pharmaceutical industry's role in undergraduate medical training, consolidating current knowledge in this area may be useful for setting priorities for changes to educational practices. In this study, the researchers systematically examined studies of pharmaceutical industry interactions with medical students and whether such interactions influenced students' views on related topics.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers did a comprehensive literature search using appropriate search terms for all relevant quantitative and qualitative studies published before June 2010. Using strict inclusion criteria, the researchers then selected 48 articles (from 1,603 abstracts) for full review and identified 32 eligible for analysis—giving a total of approximately 9,850 medical students studying at 76 medical schools or hospitals.
Most students had some form of interaction with the pharmaceutical industry but contact increased in the clinical years, with up to 90% of all clinical students receiving some form of educational material. The highest level of exposure occurred in the US. In most studies, the majority of students in their clinical training years found it ethically permissible for medical students to accept gifts from drug manufacturers, while a smaller percentage of preclinical students reported such attitudes. Students justified their entitlement to gifts by citing financial hardship or by asserting that most other students accepted gifts. In addition, although most students believed that education from industry sources is biased, students variably reported that information obtained from industry sources was useful and a valuable part of their education.
Almost two-thirds of students reported that they were immune to bias induced by promotion, gifts, or interactions with sales representatives but also reported that fellow medical students or doctors are influenced by such encounters. Eight studies reported a relationship between exposure to the pharmaceutical industry and positive attitudes about industry interactions and marketing strategies (although not all included supportive statistical data). Finally, student opinions were split on whether physician–industry interactions should be regulated by medical schools or the government.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This analysis shows that students are frequently exposed to pharmaceutical marketing, even in the preclinical years, and that the extent of students' contact with industry is generally associated with positive attitudes about marketing and skepticism towards any negative implications of interactions with industry. Therefore, strategies to educate students about interactions with the pharmaceutical industry should directly address widely held misconceptions about the effects of marketing and other biases that can emerge from industry interactions. But education alone may be insufficient. Institutional policies, such as rules regulating industry interactions, can play an important role in shaping students' attitudes, and interventions that decrease students' contact with industry and eliminate gifts may have a positive effect on building the skills that evidence-based medical practice requires. These changes can help cultivate strong professional values and instill in students a respect for scientific principles and critical evidence review that will later inform clinical decision-making and prescribing practices.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001037.
Further information about the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on doctors and medical students can be found at the American Medical Students Association PharmFree campaign and PharmFree Scorecard, Medsin-UKs PharmAware campaign, the nonprofit organization Healthy Skepticism, and the Web site of No Free Lunch.
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001037
PMCID: PMC3101205  PMID: 21629685
2.  'It gives you an understanding you can't get from any book.' The relationship between medical students' and doctors' personal illness experiences and their performance: a qualitative and quantitative study 
Background
Anecdotes abound about doctors' personal illness experiences and the effect they have on their empathy and care of patients. We formally investigated the relationship between doctors' and medical students' personal illness experiences, their examination results, preparedness for clinical practice, learning and professional attitudes and behaviour towards patients.
Methods
Newly-qualified UK doctors in 2005 (n = 2062/4784), and two cohorts of students at one London medical school (n = 640/749) participated in the quantitative arm of the study. 37 Consultants, 1 Specialist Registrar, 2 Clinical Skills Tutors and 25 newly-qualified doctors participated in the qualitative arm. Newly-qualified doctors and medical students reported their personal illness experiences in a questionnaire. Doctors' experiences were correlated with self-reported preparedness for their new clinical jobs. Students' experiences were correlated with their examination results, and self-reported anxiety and depression. Interviews with clinical teachers, newly-qualified doctors and senior doctors qualitatively investigated how personal illness experiences affect learning, professional attitudes, and behaviour.
Results
85.5% of newly-qualified doctors and 54.4% of medical students reported personal illness experiences. Newly-qualified doctors who had been ill felt less prepared for starting work (p < 0.001), but those who had only experienced illness in a relative or friend felt more prepared (p = 0.02). Clinical medical students who had been ill were more anxious (p = 0.01) and had lower examination scores (p = 0.006). Doctors felt their personal illness experiences helped them empathise and communicate with patients. Medical students with more life experience were perceived as more mature, empathetic, and better learners; but illness at medical school was recognised to impede learning.
Conclusion
The majority of the medical students and newly qualified doctors we studied reported personal illness experiences, and these experiences were associated with lower undergraduate examination results, higher anxiety, and lower preparedness. However reflection on such experiences may have improved professional attitudes such as empathy and compassion for patients. Future research is warranted in this area.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-7-50
PMCID: PMC2211477  PMID: 18053231
3.  Attitudes and perceptions of medical students about family medicine in Spain: protocol for a cross-sectional survey 
BMJ Open  2011;1(2):e000231.
Background
Despite the fact that family medicine (FM) has become established as a specialty in the past 25 years, this has not been reflected in the inclusion of the specialty in the majority of medical schools in Spain. Almost 40% of the students will work in primary care but, in spite of this, most universities do not have an assessed placement as such. There are only specific practice periods in health centres or some student-selected components with little weight in the overall curricula.
Objectives
To evaluate the attitudes and perceptions of medical students about FM in the health system and their perception about the need for specific training in FM at the undergraduate level. To explore change over time of these attitudes and perceptions and to examine potential predictive factors for change. Finally, we will review what teaching activity in FM is offered across the Spanish schools of medicine.
Methods
Descriptive cross-sectional survey. Each one of the different analyses will consist of two surveys: one for all the students in the first, third and fifth year of medical school in all the Spanish schools of medicine asking about their knowledge, perceptions and attitudes in relation to primary care and FM. There will be an additional survey for the coordinating faculty of the study in each university about the educational activities related to FM that are carried out in their centres. The repetition of the study every 2 years will allow for an analysis of the evolution of the cohort of students until they receive their degree and the potential predictive factors.
Discussion
This study will provide useful information for strategic planning decisions, content and educational methodology in medical schools in Spain and elsewhere. It will also help to evaluate the influence of the ongoing changes in FM, locally and at the European level, on the attitudes and perceptions of the students towards FM in Spain.
Article summary
Article focus
There is a need to explore further the reasons for which students choose a specific specialty for training and future practice. This protocol outlines the design of a cross-sectional survey to evaluate attitudes and perceptions of medical students about family medicine.
The project will assess the potential impact of medical school teaching on the final profiles of students, both in perceptions and expectations and in the choice of specialty.
Key messages
This is a protocol of a multicentre survey that will take place in Spanish medical schools. The study includes a survey for students and one for the coordinators of family medicine in each centre.
The repetition of the student survey every 2 years will allow for an analysis of the evolution of student cohorts until the end of their studies.
The results of this study will provide valuable information for curriculum development related to family medicine in the different schools of medicine and will help to prioritise those activities that are likely to be most effective for promoting this specialty.
Strengths and limitations of this study
The research team for this study includes coordinating faculty from 22 of the 27 universities throughout Spain. The study will be repeated every 2 years and will explore change over time of the issues addressed.
The principal limitations of this study are related to its design, of observational nature. The results observed will serve as hypotheses generating and cannot be regarded as definitive. Finally, the fact that the survey will be anonymous will impede the evaluation, at an individual level, of change over time.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000231
PMCID: PMC3278481  PMID: 22189348
4.  The attitude of patients towards medical students in a sexual health clinic 
Sexually Transmitted Infections  2005;81(5):437-439.
Objectives: To determine patient attitudes toward medical students in the sexual health clinic, and to describe factors associated with patient refusal of medical student involvement.
Method: A self administered questionnaire was given to 259 consecutive patients attending the general genitourinary medicine clinic. Participants were asked to indicate their attitude to questioning and/or examination by medical students. Information was also collected on sex, age, ethnicity, and previous visits to sexual health clinics and previous exposure to medical students. The proportion of patients reporting comfort with student involvement, and association with age, sex, country of birth, language spoken, and previous experience of student and/or genitourinary medicine clinics are reported.
Results: 82.6% of patients agreed to participate. The proportion reporting feeling comfortable with students ranged from 64% for female students questioning them with a doctor present to 35% for a male student questioning them alone. Comfort levels were associated with the sex of the student and previous exposure to medical students, but not age, country of birth, language spoken, or previous attendance at a sexual health clinic. The most common reasons for feeling uncomfortable with students were privacy concerns and poorer quality of care.
Conclusion: Many patients feel uncomfortable with medical student involvement in a sexual health clinic consultation; particularly patients with no previous contact with medical students. Privacy and standard of care were the most common concerns, which are potentially amenable to change through better explanation of the students' role in the clinic.
doi:10.1136/sti.2004.014332
PMCID: PMC1745034  PMID: 16199748
5.  Interactions between Non-Physician Clinicians and Industry: A Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(11):e1001561.
In a systematic review of studies of interactions between non-physician clinicians and industry, Quinn Grundy and colleagues found that many of the issues identified for physicians' industry interactions exist for non-physician clinicians.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
With increasing restrictions placed on physician–industry interactions, industry marketing may target other health professionals. Recent health policy developments confer even greater importance on the decision making of non-physician clinicians. The purpose of this systematic review is to examine the types and implications of non-physician clinician–industry interactions in clinical practice.
Methods and Findings
We searched MEDLINE and Web of Science from January 1, 1946, through June 24, 2013, according to PRISMA guidelines. Non-physician clinicians eligible for inclusion were: Registered Nurses, nurse prescribers, Physician Assistants, pharmacists, dieticians, and physical or occupational therapists; trainee samples were excluded. Fifteen studies met inclusion criteria. Data were synthesized qualitatively into eight outcome domains: nature and frequency of industry interactions; attitudes toward industry; perceived ethical acceptability of interactions; perceived marketing influence; perceived reliability of industry information; preparation for industry interactions; reactions to industry relations policy; and management of industry interactions. Non-physician clinicians reported interacting with the pharmaceutical and infant formula industries. Clinicians across disciplines met with pharmaceutical representatives regularly and relied on them for practice information. Clinicians frequently received industry “information,” attended sponsored “education,” and acted as distributors for similar materials targeted at patients. Clinicians generally regarded this as an ethical use of industry resources, and felt they could detect “promotion” while benefiting from industry “information.” Free samples were among the most approved and common ways that clinicians interacted with industry. Included studies were observational and of varying methodological rigor; thus, these findings may not be generalizable. This review is, however, the first to our knowledge to provide a descriptive analysis of this literature.
Conclusions
Non-physician clinicians' generally positive attitudes toward industry interactions, despite their recognition of issues related to bias, suggest that industry interactions are normalized in clinical practice across non-physician disciplines. Industry relations policy should address all disciplines and be implemented consistently in order to mitigate conflicts of interest and address such interactions' potential to affect patient care.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Making and selling health care goods (including drugs and devices) and services is big business. To maximize the profits they make for their shareholders, companies involved in health care build relationships with physicians by providing information on new drugs, organizing educational meetings, providing samples of their products, giving gifts, and holding sponsored events. These relationships help to keep physicians informed about new developments in health care but also create the potential for causing harm to patients and health care systems. These relationships may, for example, result in increased prescription rates of new, heavily marketed medications, which are often more expensive than their generic counterparts (similar unbranded drugs) and that are more likely to be recalled for safety reasons than long-established drugs. They may also affect the provision of health care services. Industry is providing an increasingly large proportion of routine health care services in many countries, so relationships built up with physicians have the potential to influence the commissioning of the services that are central to the treatment and well-being of patients.
Why Was This Study Done?
As a result of concerns about the tension between industry's need to make profits and the ethics underlying professional practice, restrictions are increasingly being placed on physician–industry interactions. In the US, for example, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act now requires US manufacturers of drugs, devices, and medical supplies that participate in federal health care programs to disclose all payments and gifts made to physicians and teaching hospitals. However, other health professionals, including those with authority to prescribe drugs such as pharmacists, Physician Assistants, and nurse practitioners are not covered by this legislation or by similar legislation in other settings, even though the restructuring of health care to prioritize primary care and multidisciplinary care models means that “non-physician clinicians” are becoming more numerous and more involved in decision-making and medication management. In this systematic review (a study that uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic), the researchers examine the nature and implications of the interactions between non-physician clinicians and industry.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 15 published studies that examined interactions between non-physician clinicians (Registered Nurses, nurse prescribers, midwives, pharmacists, Physician Assistants, and dieticians) and industry (corporations that produce health care goods and services). They extracted the data from 16 publications (representing 15 different studies) and synthesized them qualitatively (combined the data and reached word-based, rather than numerical, conclusions) into eight outcome domains, including the nature and frequency of interactions, non-physician clinicians' attitudes toward industry, and the perceived ethical acceptability of interactions. In the research the authors identified, non-physician clinicians reported frequent interactions with the pharmaceutical and infant formula industries. Most non-physician clinicians met industry representatives regularly, received gifts and samples, and attended educational events or received educational materials (some of which they distributed to patients). In these studies, non-physician clinicians generally regarded these interactions positively and felt they were an ethical and appropriate use of industry resources. Only a minority of non-physician clinicians felt that marketing influenced their own practice, although a larger percentage felt that their colleagues would be influenced. A sizeable proportion of non-physician clinicians questioned the reliability of industry information, but most were confident that they could detect biased information and therefore rated this information as reliable, valuable, or useful.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These and other findings suggest that non-physician clinicians generally have positive attitudes toward industry interactions but recognize issues related to bias and conflict of interest. Because these findings are based on a small number of studies, most of which were undertaken in the US, they may not be generalizable to other countries. Moreover, they provide no quantitative assessment of the interaction between non-physician clinicians and industry and no information about whether industry interactions affect patient care outcomes. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that industry interactions are normalized (seen as standard) in clinical practice across non-physician disciplines. This normalization creates the potential for serious risks to patients and health care systems. The researchers suggest that it may be unrealistic to expect that non-physician clinicians can be taught individually how to interact with industry ethically or how to detect and avert bias, particularly given the ubiquitous nature of marketing and promotional materials. Instead, they suggest, the environment in which non-physician clinicians practice should be structured to mitigate the potentially harmful effects of interactions with industry.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001561.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by James S. Yeh and Aaron S. Kesselheim
The American Medical Association provides guidance for physicians on interactions with pharmaceutical industry representatives, information about the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, and a toolkit for preparing Physician Payments Sunshine Act reports
The International Council of Nurses provides some guidance on industry interactions in its position statement on nurse-industry relations
The UK General Medical Council provides guidance on financial and commercial arrangements and conflicts of interest as part of its good medical practice website, which describes what is required of all registered doctors in the UK
Understanding and Responding to Pharmaceutical Promotion: A Practical Guide is a manual prepared by Health Action International and the World Health Organization that schools of medicine and pharmacy can use to train students how to recognize and respond to pharmaceutical promotion.
The Institute of Medicine's Report on Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice recommends steps to identify, limit, and manage conflicts of interest
The University of California, San Francisco, Office of Continuing Medical Education offers a course called Marketing of Medicines
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001561
PMCID: PMC3841103  PMID: 24302892
6.  Factors considered by medical students when formulating their specialty preferences in Japan: findings from a qualitative study 
Background
Little research addresses how medical students develop their choice of specialty training in Japan. The purpose of this research was to elucidate factors considered by Japanese medical students when formulating their specialty choice.
Methods
We conducted qualitative interviews with 25 Japanese medical students regarding factors influencing specialty preference and their views on roles of primary versus specialty care. We qualitatively analyzed the data to identify factors students consider when developing specialty preferences, to understand their views about primary and subspecialty care, and to construct models depicting the pathways to specialization.
Results
Students mention factors such as illness in self or close others, respect for family member in the profession, preclinical experiences in the curriculum such as labs and dissection, and aspects of patient care such as the clinical atmosphere, charismatic role models, and doctor-patient communication as influential on their specialty preferences. Participating students could generally distinguish between subspecialty care and primary care, but not primary care and family medicine. Our analysis yields a "Two Career" model depicting how medical graduates can first train for hospital-based specialty practice, and then switch to mixed primary/specialty care outpatient practice years later without any requirement for systematic training in principles of primary care practice.
Conclusion
Preclinical and clinical experiences as well as role models are reported by Japanese students as influential factors when formulating their specialty preferences. Student understanding of family medicine as a discipline is low in Japan. Students with ultimate aspirations to practice outpatient primary care medicine do not need to commit to systematic primary care training after graduation. The Two Career model of specialization leaves the door open for medical graduates to enter primary care practice at anytime regardless of post-graduate residency training choice.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-7-31
PMCID: PMC2072940  PMID: 17848194
7.  Evaluation of a novel nutrition education intervention for medical students from across England 
BMJ Open  2012;2(1):e000417.
Objectives
Problems such as hospital malnutrition (∼40% prevalence in the UK) may be managed better by improving the nutrition education of ‘tomorrow's doctors’. The Need for Nutrition Education Programme aimed to measure the effectiveness and acceptability of an educational intervention on nutrition for medical students in the clinical phase of their training.
Design
An educational needs analysis was followed by a consultative process to gain consensus on a suitable educational intervention. This was followed by two identical 2-day educational interventions with before and after analyses of Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP). The 2-day training incorporated six key learning outcomes.
Setting
Two constituent colleges of Cambridge University used to deliver the above educational interventions.
Participants
An intervention group of 100 clinical medical students from 15 medical schools across England were recruited to attend one of two identical intensive weekend workshops.
Primary and secondary outcome measures
The primary outcome measure consisted of change in KAP scores following intervention using a clinical nutrition questionnaire. Secondary outcome measures included change in KAP scores 3 months after the intervention as well as a student-led semiqualitative evaluation of the educational intervention.
Results
Statistically significant changes in KAP scores were seen immediately after the intervention, and this was sustained for 3 months. Mean differences and 95% CIs after intervention were Knowledge 0.86 (0.43 to 1.28); Attitude 1.68 (1.47 to 1.89); Practice 1.76 (1.11 to 2.40); KAP 4.28 (3.49 to 5.06). Ninety-seven per cent of the participants rated the overall intervention and its delivery as ‘very good to excellent’, reporting that they would recommend this educational intervention to colleagues.
Conclusion
Need for Nutrition Education Programme has highlighted the need for curricular innovation in the area of clinical health nutrition in medical schools. This project also demonstrates the effectiveness and acceptability of such a curriculum intervention for ‘tomorrow's doctors’. Doctors, dietitians and nutritionists worked well in an effective interdisciplinary partnership when teaching medical students, providing a good model for further work in a healthcare setting.
Article summary
Article focus
Hospital malnutrition has been a challenge for decades in the UK due to its cost and impact on patient care.
The focus was to examine whether a novel 2-day course could make a significant improvement in the understanding of clinical nutrition, among senior medical students.
Key messages
This study summarised the need for improved training in clinical nutrition among medical students in England, a need noted in other countries too.
Statistically significant changes in KAP scores were seen immediately after the intervention among the 98 students, and this was sustained for 3 months.
Ninety-seven per cent of the participants rated the overall intervention and its delivery as ‘very good to excellent’, reporting that they would recommend this educational intervention to colleagues.
Strengths and limitations of this study
The learning outcomes seemed appropriate and the teaching intervention appeared effective.
A multidisciplinary teaching team helped emphasise the roles of various team members, in dealing with nutrition-related problems in a healthcare setting.
Comparing change to a parallel student control group would have been preferable to monitoring within-group change.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000417
PMCID: PMC3277906  PMID: 22327628
8.  Does the inclusion of 'professional development' teaching improve medical students' communication skills? 
BMC Medical Education  2011;11:41.
Background
This study investigated whether the introduction of professional development teaching in the first two years of a medical course improved students' observed communication skills with simulated patients. Students' observed communication skills were related to patient-centred attitudes, confidence in communicating with patients and performance in later clinical examinations.
Methods
Eighty-two medical students from two consecutive cohorts at a UK medical school completed two videoed consultations with a simulated patient: one at the beginning of year 1 and one at the end of year 2. Group 1 (n = 35) received a traditional pre-clinical curriculum. Group 2 (n = 47) received a curriculum that included communication skills training integrated into a 'professional development' vertical module. Videoed consultations were rated using the Evans Interview Rating Scale by communication skills tutors. A subset of 27% were double-coded. Inter-rater reliability is reported.
Results
Students who had received the professional development teaching achieved higher ratings for use of silence, not interrupting the patient, and keeping the discussion relevant compared to students receiving the traditional curriculum. Patient-centred attitudes were not related to observed communication. Students who were less nervous and felt they knew how to listen were rated as better communicators. Students receiving the traditional curriculum and who had been rated as better communicators when they entered medical school performed less well in the final year clinical examination.
Conclusions
Students receiving the professional development training showed significant improvements in certain communication skills, but students in both cohorts improved over time. The lack of a relationship between observed communication skills and patient-centred attitudes may be a reflection of students' inexperience in working with patients, resulting in 'patient-centredness' being an abstract concept. Students in the early years of their medical course may benefit from further opportunities to practise basic communication skills on a one-to-one basis with patients.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-11-41
PMCID: PMC3141797  PMID: 21708000
communication skills; patient-centredness; medical student; curriculum change; video observation
9.  Attitudes of undergraduate medical students of Addis Ababa University towards medical practice and migration, Ethiopia 
BMC Medical Education  2012;12:68.
Background
The health care system of Ethiopia is facing a serious shortage of health workforce. While a number of strategies have been developed to improve the training and retention of medical doctors in the country, understanding the perceptions and attitudes of medical students towards their training, future practice and intent to migrate can contribute in addressing the problem. This study was carried out to assess the attitudes of Ethiopian medical students towards their training and future practice of medicine, and to identify factors associated with the intent to practice in rural or urban settings, or to migrate abroad.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted in June 2009 among 600 medical students (Year I to Internship program) of the Faculty of Medicine at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. A pre-tested self-administered structured questionnaire was used for data collection. Descriptive statistics were used for data summarization and presentation. Degree of association was measured by Chi Square test, with significance level set at p < 0.05. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to assess associations.
Results
Only 20% of the students felt ‘excellent’ about studying medicine; followed by ‘very good’ (19%), ‘good’ (30%), ‘fair’ (21%) and ‘bad’ (11%). About 35% of respondents responded they felt the standard of medical education was below their expectation. Only 30% of the students said they would like to initially practice medicine in rural settings in Ethiopia. However, students with rural backgrounds were more likely than those with urban backgrounds to say they intended to practice medicine in rural areas (adjusted OR = 2.50, 95% CI = 1.18-5.26). Similarly, students in clinical training program preferred to practice medicine in rural areas compared to pre-clinical students (adjusted OR = 1.83, 95% CI = 1.12-2.99). About 53% of the students (57% males vs. 46% females, p = 0.017) indicated aspiration to emigrate following graduation, particularly to the United States of America (42%) or European countries (15%). The attitude towards emigration was higher among Year IV (63%) and Internship (71%) students compared to Year I to Year III students (45-54%). Male students were more likely to say they would emigrate than females (adjusted OR = 1.57, 95% CI = 1.10-2.29). Likewise, students with clinical training were more likely to want to emigrate than pre-clinical students, although the difference was marginally significant (adjusted OR = 1.58, 95% CI = 1.00-2.49).
Conclusions
The attitudes of the majority of Ethiopian medical students in the capital city towards practicing medicine in rural areas were found to be poor, and the intent to migrate after completing medical training was found to be very high among the study participants, creating a huge potential for brain drain. This necessitates the importance of improving the quality of education and career choice satisfaction, creating conducive training and working conditions including retention efforts for medical graduates to serve their nation. It follows that recruiting altruistic and rural background students into medical schools is likely to produce graduates who are more likely to practice medicine in rural settings.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-12-68
PMCID: PMC3492144  PMID: 22867022
10.  GP recruitment and retention: a qualitative analysis of doctors' comments about training for and working in general practice. 
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: General practice in the UK is experiencing difficulty with medical staff recruitment and retention, with reduced numbers choosing careers in general practice or entering principalships, and increases in less-than-full-time working, career breaks, early retirement and locum employment. Information is scarce about the reasons for these changes and factors that could increase recruitment and retention. The UK Medical Careers Research Group (UKMCRG) regularly surveys cohorts of UK medical graduates to determine their career choices and progression. We also invite written comments from respondents about their careers and the factors that influence them. Most respondents report high levels of job satisfaction. A noteworthy minority, however, make critical comments about general practice. Although their views may not represent those of all general practitioners (GPs), they nonetheless indicate a range of concerns that deserve to be understood. This paper reports on respondents' comments about general practice. ANALYSIS OF DOCTORS' COMMENTS: Training Greater exposure to general practice at undergraduate level could help to promote general practice careers and better inform career decisions. Postgraduate general practice training in hospital-based posts was seen as poor quality, irrelevant and run as if it were of secondary importance to service commitments. In contrast, general practice-based postgraduate training was widely praised for good formal teaching that met educational needs. The quality of vocational training was dependent upon the skills and enthusiasm of individual trainers. Recruitment problems Perceived deterrents to choosing general practice were its portrayal, by some hospital-based teachers, as a second class career compared to hospital medicine, and a perception of low morale amongst current GPs. The choice of a career in general practice was commonly made for lifestyle reasons rather than professional aspirations. Some GPs had encountered difficulties in obtaining posts in general practice suited to their needs, while others perceived discrimination. Newly qualified GPs often sought work as non-principals because they felt too inexperienced for partnership or because their domestic situation prevented them from settling in a particular area. Changes to general practice The 1990 National Health Service (NHS) reforms were largely viewed unfavourably, partly because they had led to a substantial increase in GPs' workloads that was compounded by growing public expectations, and partly because the two-tier system of fund-holding was considered unfair. Fund-holding and, more recently, GP commissioning threatened the GP's role as patient advocate by shifting the responsibility for rationing of health care from government to GPs. Some concerns were also expressed about the introduction of primary care groups (PCGs) and trusts (PCTs). Together, increased workload and the continual process of change had, for some, resulted in work-related stress, low morale, reduced job satisfaction and quality of life. These problems had been partially alleviated by the formation of GP co-operatives. Retention difficulties Loss of GPs' time from the NHS workforce occurs in four ways: reduced working hours, temporary career breaks, leaving the NHS to work elsewhere and early retirement. Child rearing and a desire to pursue interests outside medicine were cited as reasons for seeking shorter working hours or career breaks. A desire to reduce pressure of work was a common reason for seeking shorter working hours, taking career breaks, early retirement or leaving NHS general practice. Other reasons for leaving NHS general practice, temporarily or permanently, were difficulty in finding a GP post suited to individual needs and a desire to work abroad. CONCLUSIONS: A cultural change amongst medical educationalists is needed to promote general practice as a career choice that is equally attractive as hospital practice. The introduction of Pre-Registration House Officer (PRHO) placements in general practice and improved flexibility of GP vocational training schemes, together with plans to improve the quality of Senior House Officer (SHO) training in the future, are welcome developments and should address some of the concerns about poor quality GP training raised by our respondents. The reluctance of newly qualified GPs to enter principalships, and the increasing demand from experienced GPs for less-than-full-time work, indicates a need for a greater variety of contractual arrangements to reflect doctors' desires for more flexible patterns of working in general practice.
PMCID: PMC2560447  PMID: 12049026
11.  Electronic health records in outpatient clinics: Perspectives of third year medical students 
Background
United States academic medical centers are increasingly incorporating electronic health records (EHR) into teaching settings. We report third year medical students' attitudes towards clinical learning using the electronic health record in ambulatory primary care clinics.
Methods
In academic year 2005–06, 60 third year students were invited to complete a questionnaire after finishing the required Ambulatory Medicine/Family Medicine clerkship. The authors elicited themes for the questionnaire by asking a focus group of third year students how using the EHR had impacted their learning. Five themes emerged: organization of information, access to online resources, prompts from the EHR, personal performance (charting and presenting), and communication with patients and preceptors. The authors added a sixth theme: impact on student and patient follow-up. The authors created a 21-item questionnaire, based on these themes that used a 5-point Likert scale from "Strongly Agree" to "Strongly Disagree". The authors emailed an electronic survey link to each consenting student immediately following their clerkship experience in Ambulatory Medicine/Family Medicine.
Results
33 of 53 consenting students (62%) returned completed questionnaires. Most students liked the EHR's ability to organize information, with 70% of students responding that essential information was easier to find electronically. Only 36% and 33% of students reported accessing online patient information or clinical guidelines more often when using the EHR than when using paper charts. Most students (72%) reported asking more history questions due to EHR prompts, and 39% ordered more clinical preventive services. Most students (69%) reported that the EHR improved their documentation. 39% of students responded that they received more feedback on their EHR notes compared to paper chart notes. Only 64% of students were satisfied with the doctor-patient communication with the EHR, and 48% stated they spent less time looking at the patient.
Conclusion
Third year medical students reported generally positive attitudes towards using the EHR in the ambulatory setting. They reported receiving more feedback on their electronic charts than on paper charts. However, students reported significant concerns about the potential impact of the EHR on their ability to conduct the doctor-patient encounter.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-8-13
PMCID: PMC2294117  PMID: 18373880
12.  Western medical ethics taught to junior medical students can cross cultural and linguistic boundaries 
BMC Medical Ethics  2004;5:4.
Background
Little is known about teaching medical ethics across cultural and linguistic boundaries. This study examined two successive cohorts of first year medical students in a six year undergraduate MBBS program.
Methods
The objective was to investigate whether Arabic speaking students studying medicine in an Arabic country would be able to correctly identify some of the principles of Western medical ethical reasoning. This cohort study was conducted on first year students in a six-year undergraduate program studying medicine in English, their second language at a medical school in the Arabian Gulf. The ethics teaching was based on the four-principle approach (autonomy, beneficence, non-malfeasance and justice) and delivered by a non-Muslim native English speaker with no knowledge of the Arabic language. Although the course was respectful of Arabic culture and tradition, the content excluded an analysis of Islamic medical ethics and focused on Western ethical reasoning. Following two 45-minute interactive seminars, students in groups of 3 or 4 visited a primary health care centre for one morning, sitting in with an attending physician seeing his or her patients in Arabic. Each student submitted a personal report for summative assessment detailing the ethical issues they had observed.
Results
All 62 students enrolled in these courses participated. Each student acting independently was able to correctly identify a median number of 4 different medical ethical issues (range 2–9) and correctly identify and label accurately a median of 2 different medical ethical issues (range 2–7) There were no significant correlations between their English language skills or general academic ability and the number or accuracy of ethical issues identified.
Conclusions
This study has demonstrated that these students could identify medical ethical issues based on Western constructs, despite learning in English, their second language, being in the third week of their medical school experience and with minimal instruction. This result was independent of their academic and English language skills suggesting that ethical principles as espoused in the four principal approach may be common to the students' Islamic religious beliefs, allowing them to access complex medical ethical reasoning skills at an early stage in the medical curriculum.
doi:10.1186/1472-6939-5-4
PMCID: PMC509252  PMID: 15283868
13.  Medical students' and facilitators' experiences of an Early Professional Contact course: Active and motivated students, strained facilitators 
Background
Today, medical students are introduced to patient contact, communication skills, and clinical examination in the preclinical years of the curriculum with the purpose of gaining clinical experience. These courses are often evaluated from the student perspective. Reports with an additional emphasis on the facilitator perspective are scarce. According to constructive alignment, an influential concept from research in higher education, the learning climate between students and teachers is also of great importance. In this paper, we approach the learning climate by studying both students' and facilitators' course experiences.
In 2001, a new "Early Professional Contact" longitudinal strand through term 1–4, was introduced at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. General practitioners and hospital specialists were facilitators.
The aim of this study was to assess and analyse students' and clinical facilitators' experiences of the Early Professional Contact course and to illuminate facilitators' working conditions.
Methods
Inspired by a Swedish adaptation of the Course Experience Questionnaire, an Early Professional Contact Questionnaire was constructed. In 2003, on the completion of the first longitudinal strand, a student and facilitator version was distributed to 86 students and 21 facilitators. In the analysis, both Chi-square and the Mann-Whitney tests were used.
Results
Sixty students (70%) and 15 facilitators (71%) completed the questionnaire. Both students and facilitators were satisfied with the course. Students reported gaining iiration for their future work as doctors along with increased confidence in meeting patients. They also reported increased motivation for biomedical studies. Differences in attitudes between facilitators and students were found. Facilitators experienced a greater workload, less reasonable demands and less support, than students.
Conclusion
In this project, a new Early Professional Contact course was analysed from both student and facilitator perspectives. The students experienced the course as providing them with a valuable introduction to the physician's professional role in clinical practice. In contrast, course facilitators often experienced a heavy workload and lack of support, despite thorough preparatory education. A possible conflict between the clinical facilitator's task as educator and member of the workplace is suggested. More research is needed on how doctors combine their professional tasks with work as facilitators.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-8-56
PMCID: PMC2614986  PMID: 19055727
14.  A Model for Partnering First-Year Student Pharmacists With Community-Based Older Adults 
Objectives. To design, integrate, and assess the effectiveness of an introductory pharmacy practice experience intended to redefine first-year student pharmacists’ views on aging and medication use through their work with a healthy, community-based older-adult population.
Design. All students (N = 273) completed live skills training in an 8-hour boot camp provided during orientation week. Teams were assigned an independently living senior partner, completed 10 visits and reflections, and documented health-related information using an electronic portfolio (e-portfolio).
Assessment. As determined by pre- and post-experience survey instruments, students gained significant confidence in 7 skill areas related to communication, medication interviews, involving the partner in health care, and applying patient-care skills. Student reflections, in-class presentations, and e-portfolios documented that personal attitudes toward seniors changed over time. Senior partners enjoyed mentoring and interacting with students and many experienced health improvements as a result of the interaction.
Conclusions. The model for partnering first-year student pharmacists with community-based older adults improved students’ skills and fostered their connections to pharmacist roles and growth as person-centered providers.
doi:10.5688/ajpe76585
PMCID: PMC3386036  PMID: 22761526
geriatrics; senior partner; senior mentor; introductory pharmacy practice experience
15.  Does doctors’ workload impact supervision and ward activities of final-year students? A prospective study 
BMC Medical Education  2012;12:24.
Background
Hospital doctors face constantly increasing workloads. Besides caring for patients, their duties also comprise the education of future colleagues. The aim of this study was to objectively investigate whether the workload arising from increased patient care interferes with student supervision and is associated with more non-medical activities of final-year medical students.
Methods
A total of 54 final-year students were asked to keep a diary of their daily activities over a three-week period at the beginning of their internship in Internal Medicine. Students categorized their activities – both medical and non-medical - according to whether they had: (1) only watched, (2) assisted the ward resident, (3) performed the activity themselves under supervision of the ward resident, or (4) performed the activity without supervision. The activities reported on a particular day were matched with a ward specific workload-index derived from the hospital information system, including the number of patients treated on the corresponding ward on that day, a correction factor according to the patient comorbidity complexity level (PCCL), and the number of admissions and discharges. Both students and ward residents were blinded to the study question.
Results
A total of 32 diaries (59 %, 442 recorded working days) were handed back. Overall, the students reported 1.2 ± 1.3 supervised, 1.8 ±1.6 medical and 3.6 ± 1.7 non-medical activities per day. The more supervised activities were reported, the more the number of reported medical activities increased (p < .0001). No relationship between the ward specific workload and number of medical activities could be shown.
Conclusions
There was a significant association between ward doctors’ supervision of students and the number of medical activities performed by medical students. The workload had no significant effect on supervision or the number of medical or non-medical activities of final-year students.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-12-24
PMCID: PMC3372449  PMID: 22540897
16.  An interprofessional approach to improving paediatric medication safety 
BMC Medical Education  2010;10:19.
Background
Safe drug prescribing and administration are essential elements within undergraduate healthcare curricula, but medication errors, especially in paediatric practice, continue to compromise patient safety. In this area of clinical care, collective responsibility, team working and communication between health professionals have been identified as key elements in safe clinical practice. To date, there is limited research evidence as to how best to deliver teaching and learning of these competencies to practitioners of the future.
Methods
An interprofessional workshop to facilitate learning of knowledge, core competencies, communication and team working skills in paediatric drug prescribing and administration at undergraduate level was developed and evaluated. The practical, ward-based workshop was delivered to 4th year medical and 3rd year nursing students and evaluated using a pre and post workshop questionnaire with open-ended response questions.
Results
Following the workshop, students reported an increase in their knowledge and awareness of paediatric medication safety and the causes of medication errors (p < 0.001), with the greatest increase noted among medical students. Highly significant changes in students' attitudes to shared learning were observed, indicating that safe medication practice is learnt more effectively with students from other healthcare disciplines. Qualitative data revealed that students' participation in the workshop improved communication and teamworking skills, and led to greater awareness of the role of other healthcare professionals.
Conclusion
This study has helped bridge the knowledge-skills gap, demonstrating how an interprofessional approach to drug prescribing and administration has the potential to improve quality and safety within healthcare.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-10-19
PMCID: PMC2834694  PMID: 20170498
17.  Medical student attitudes before and after participation in rural health fairs 
Background:
Despite an increased need, residents of rural communities have decreased access to healthcare and oftenpresentuniquehealthcare challenges associated with their rurality. Ensuring medical students receive adequate exposure to these issues is complicated by the urban location of most medical schools. Health fairs (fairs) conducted in rural communities can provide students exposure to ruralhealth;however, it is unknown how participation affects attitudes regarding these issues.
Materials and Methods:
During the 2010-2011 academic year, first-year medical students were surveyed before and after participating in a rural fair regarding the importance of rural health issues, the need for exposure to rural healthcare, their plans to practice in a rural community,andthe educational impact of fairs.
Results:
Of the 121participating students, 77% and 61% completed pre- and post-fair surveys, respectively. Few had lived in a rural area or planned to practice primary care. Participants strongly agreed that the delivery of healthcare in rural areas was important, and that all physicians should receive rural health training (4.8 and 3.7 out of 5, respectively) despite less than halfplanning to practice in a rural community. After participating in a rural fair, student attitudes were unchanged, although 87% of participants strongly agreed their involvement had contributed to improving patient health and 70% that the fairs provided rural medicine experience.
Conclusions:
Among urban medical school students with varied interests in primary care, there was strong interest in volunteering at rural fairs and appreciation for the importance of rural health. Fairs provided interested students with rural medicine experience that reinforced student attitudes regarding rural health. Further, students felt their participation improved patient health.
PMCID: PMC3527050  PMID: 23267384
Education; Medical; Undergraduate; Rural health services; Preventive health services
18.  Duties of a doctor: UK doctors and Good Medical Practice 
Quality in Health Care : QHC  2000;9(1):14-22.
Objective—To assess the responses of UK doctors to the General Medical Council's (GMC) Good Medical Practice and the Duties of a Doctor, and to the GMC's performance procedures for which they provide the professional underpinning.
Design—Questionnaire study of a representative sample of UK doctors.
Subjects—794 UK doctors, stratified by year of qualification, sex, place of qualification (UK v non-UK), and type of practice (hospital v general practice) of whom 591/759 (78%) replied to the questionnaire (35 undelivered).
Main outcome measures—A specially written questionnaire asking about awareness of Good Medical Practice, agreement with Duties of a Doctor, amount heard about the performance procedures, changes in own practice, awareness of cases perhaps requiring performance procedures, and attitudes to the performance procedures. Background measures of stress (General Health Questionnaire, GHQ-12), burnout, responses to uncertainty, and social desirability.
Results—Most doctors were aware of Good Medical Practice, had heard the performance procedures being discussed or had received information about them, and agreed with the stated duties of a doctor, although some items to do with doctor-patient communication and attitudes were more controversial. Nearly half of the doctors had made or were contemplating some change in their practice because of the performance procedures; a third of doctors had come across a case in the previous two years in their own professional practice that they thought might merit the performance procedures. Attitudes towards the performance procedures were variable. On the positive side, 60% or more of doctors saw them as reassuring the general public, making it necessary for doctors to report deficient performance in their colleagues, did not think they would impair morale, were not principally window dressing, and were not only appropriate for problems of technical competence. On the negative side, 60% or more of doctors thought the performance procedures were not well understood by most doctors, were a reason for more defensive practice, and could not be used for problems of attitude. Few differences were found among older and younger doctors, hospital doctors, or general practitioners, or UK and non-UK graduates, although some differences were present.
Conclusions—Most doctors working in the UK are aware of Good Medical Practice and the performance procedures, and are in broad sympathy with Duties of a Doctor. Many attitudes expressed by doctors are not positive, however, and provide areas where the GMC in particular may wish to encourage further discussion and awareness. The present results provide a good baseline for assessing change as the performance procedures become active and cases come before the GMC over the next few years.
(Quality in Health Care 2000;9:14–22)
Key Words: performance procedures; good medical practice; duties; attitudes; knowledge
doi:10.1136/qhc.9.1.14
PMCID: PMC1743494  PMID: 10848365
19.  Bias in medicine: a survey of medical student attitudes towards HIV-positive and marginalized patients in Russia, 2010 
Background
Russia has a substantial HIV epidemic which is poised to escalate in the coming years. The increases in prevalence of HIV will result in increased healthcare needs by a medical system with limited experience with HIV. A healthcare provider's attitude towards a patient plays a significant role in determining the patient's health-related behaviours and medical outcomes. Previous studies have identified negative attitudes of medical students towards people living with HIV. Studying the prevalence of such attitudes is of particular interest, as medical students represent the future workforce and also as the schooling years present a unique opportunity to nurture bias-free healthcare providers. The study measures prevalence of prejudicial attitudes towards HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients who belong to marginalized subgroups.
Methods
The cross-sectional survey was conducted among medical students of a Russian medical university. Of 500 students surveyed, 436 provided sufficient data to be included in the analysis. Prejudicial attitudes were defined as reluctance to provide medical care to a specified hypothetical patient. Nine hypothetical HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients were proposed: physicians, injecting drug users, commercial sex workers, men who have sex with men and a patient HIV-positive due to blood transfusion. A log-binomial regression solved using generalized estimating equations was utilized to identify factors associated with reluctance to treat.
Results
Prevalence of reluctance to provide medical care to HIV-positive patients in marginalized subgroups was high (ranging from 26.4% up to 71.9%), compared to a maximum of 7.5% if a patient was an HIV-negative physician. Students in their clinical years reported more negative attitudes than preclinical students. In general, female students were less willing to provide care than their male counterparts.
Conclusions
Prejudicial attitudes about HIV-positive patients and those in marginalized subgroups of the population are prevalent among medical students in Russia. Given the increasing prevalence of HIV in the country, reasons for this hesitance to treat must be identified and addressed. Educational programs for healthcare providers are urgently needed to eliminate bias in the delivery of critically needed medical care. These targeted interventions should be coupled with other programs to eliminate structural barriers to care.
doi:10.7448/IAS.15.2.17372
PMCID: PMC3494162  PMID: 23031336
HIV; stigma; medical students; marginalized groups; Russia
20.  Patient perceptions of innovative longitudinal integrated clerkships based in regional, rural and remote primary care: a qualitative study 
BMC Family Practice  2012;13:72.
Background
Medical students at the University of Wollongong experience continuity of patient care and clinical supervision during an innovative year-long integrated (community and hospital) clinical clerkship. In this model of clinical education, students are based in a general practice ‘teaching microsystem’ and participate in patient care as part of this community of practice (CoP). This study evaluates patients’ perceptions of the clerkship initiative, and their perspectives on this approach to training ‘much-needed’ doctors in their community.
Methods
Semi-structured, face-to-face, interviews with patients provided data on the clerkship model in three contexts: regional, rural and remote health care settings in Australia. Two researchers independently thematically analysed transcribed data and organised emergent categories into themes.
Results
The twelve categories that emerged from the analysis of transcribed data were clustered into four themes: learning as doing; learning as shared experience; learning as belonging to a community; and learning as ‘becoming’. Patients viewed the clerkship learning environment as patient- and student-centred, emphasising that the patient-student-doctor relationship triad was important in facilitating active participation by patients as well as students. Patients believed that students became central, rather than peripheral, members of the CoP during an extended placement, value-adding and improving access to patient care.
Conclusions
Regional, rural and remote patients valued the long-term engagement of senior medical students in their health care team(s). A supportive CoP such as the general practice ‘teaching microsystem’ allowed student and patient to experience increasing participation and identity transformation over time. The extended student-patient-doctor relationship was seen as influential in this progression. Patients revealed unique insights into the longitudinal clerkship model, and believed they have an important contribution to make to medical education and new strategies addressing mal-distribution in the medical workforce.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-13-72
PMCID: PMC3503733  PMID: 22839433
Rural medical education; Longitudinal integrated clerkships; Patient-centredness; Patients as stakeholders
21.  Patients’ approaches to students’ learning at a clinical education ward-an ethnographic study 
BMC Medical Education  2014;14:131.
Background
It is well known that patients’ involvement in health care students’ learning is essential and gives students opportunities to experience clinical reasoning and practice clinical skills when interacting with patients. Students encounter patients in different contexts throughout their education. However, looking across the research providing evidence about learning related to patient-student encounters reveals a lack of knowledge about the actual learning process that occurs in encounters between patients and students. The aim of this study was to explore patient-student encounters in relation to students’ learning in a patient-centered health-care setting.
Methods
An ethnographic approach was used to study the encounters between patients and students. The setting was a clinical education ward for nursing students at a university hospital with eight beds. The study included 10 observations with 11 students and 10 patients. The observer followed one or two students taking care of one patient. During the fieldwork observational and reflective notes were taken. After each observation follow-up interviews were conducted with each patient and student separately. Data were analyzed using an ethnographic approach.
Results
The most striking results showed that patients took different approaches in the encounters with students. When the students managed to create a good atmosphere and a mutual relationship, the patients were active participants in the students’ learning. If the students did not manage to create a good atmosphere, the relationship became one-way and the patients were passive participants, letting the students practice on their bodies but without engaging in a dialogue with the students.
Conclusions
Patient-student encounters, at a clinical education ward with a patient-centred pedagogical framework, can develop into either a learning relationship or an attending relationship. A learning relationship is based on a mutual relationship between patients and students resulting in patients actively participating in students’ learning and they both experience it as a joint action. An attending relationship is based on a one-way relationship between patients and students resulting in patients passively participating by letting students to practice on their bodies but without engaging in a learning dialogue with the students.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-131
PMCID: PMC4094893  PMID: 24989155
Patient-student encounters; Clinical education ward; Patient-centeredness; Learning relationship; Attending relationship
22.  Shortage in general practice despite the feminisation of the medical workforce: a seeming paradox? A cohort study 
Background
Female medical students often prefer primary care specialties, while male students appear to be attracted to hospital specialties. Notwithstanding the steady feminisation of medicine, in many countries there are still difficulties in recruiting trainees for general practice. This seeming paradox raises the question on what specific role gender plays in a specialty choice. The authors looked at the (a) the role of gender in general practice specialty choice of Dutch medical students, (b) the decisive factors in career choice and relation of gender to these, and (c) differences in how male and female students are influenced by the GP clerkship.
Methods
A cohort of 206 final year medical students at the Maastricht University, the Netherlands were asked to complete a questionnaire focusing on career preferences before and after a 12-week general practice clerkship and at graduation, a couple of months later.
Results
Gender was significantly related to willingness to become a GP in bivariate analysis. Adding variables in multivariate analysis made this effect disappear. While females expressed overall higher preference for general practice than males, after the GP clerkship likelihood of choosing general practice increased with 38% among male and 22% among female students. After graduation, interest in general practice had dropped, mainly among females. Attitudes predicting a GP career choice were: extrinsic career motivation before the clerkship, and the content of GP work (patient contacts, treatments) and motivation to work with chronic and palliative patients after the clerkship.
Conclusion
Gender 'as such' appeared not to be a distinctive predictor of specialty choice. It is students' attitudes towards GP work and preferred patient category that determine the career choice in general practice. However, more male students were positively influenced by the GP clerkship than female students. The motivating effect of the clerkship is not long lasting. Especially female graduates change their interest in favour of other specialties, which may explain why eventually few students choose general practice. It might be worthwhile to reinforce an initial preference for general practice by motivational guidance throughout the whole period of clerkships.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-8-262
PMCID: PMC2648968  PMID: 19091105
23.  Attitudes of medical students to medical leadership and management: a systematic review to inform curriculum development 
BMC Medical Education  2011;11:93.
Background
There is a growing acknowledgement that doctors need to develop leadership and management competences to become more actively involved in the planning, delivery and transformation of patient services. We undertook a systematic review of what is known concerning the knowledge, skills and attitudes of medical students regarding leadership and management. Here we report the results pertaining to the attitudes of students to provide evidence to inform curriculum development in this developing field of medical education.
Methods
We searched major electronic databases and citation indexes within the disciplines of medicine, education, social science and management. We undertook hand searching of major journals, and reference and citation tracking. We accessed websites of UK medical institutions and contacted individuals working within the field.
Results
26 studies were included. Most were conducted in the USA, using mainly quantitative methods. We used inductive analysis of the topics addressed by each study to identity five main content areas: Quality Improvement; Managed Care, Use of Resources and Costs; General Leadership and Management; Role of the Doctor, and Patient Safety. Students have positive attitudes to clinical practice guidelines, quality improvement techniques and multidisciplinary teamwork, but mixed attitudes to managed care, cost containment and medical error. Education interventions had variable effects on students' attitudes. Medical students perceive a need for leadership and management education but identified lack of curriculum time and disinterest in some activities as potential barriers to implementation.
Conclusions
The findings from our review may reflect the relatively little emphasis given to leadership and management in medical curricula. However, students recognise a need to develop leadership and management competences. Although further work needs to be undertaken, using rigorous methods, to identify the most effective and cost-effective curriculum innovations, this review offers the only currently available summary of work examining the attitudes of students to this important area of development for future doctors.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-11-93
PMCID: PMC3247079  PMID: 22082174
24.  A Prospective Controlled Trial of the Influence of a Geriatrics Home Visit Program on Medical Student Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes Towards Care of the Elderly 
ABSTRACT
PURPOSE
To determine the impact of a geriatrics home visit program for third-year medical students on attitudes, skills, and knowledge.
METHODS
Using a mixed methods, prospective, controlled trial, volunteer control group students (n = 17) at two sites and intervention group students (n = 16) at two different sites within the same internal medicine clerkship were given Internet and CDROM-based geriatric self-study materials. Intervention group students identified a geriatrics patient from their clinical experience, performed one “home” visit (home, nursing home, or rehabilitation facility) to practice geriatric assessment skills, wrote a structured, reflective paper, and presented their findings in small-group teaching settings. Papers were qualitatively analyzed using the constant comparative method for themes. All students took a pre-test and post-test to measure changes in geriatrics knowledge and attitudes.
RESULTS
General attitudes towards caring for the elderly improved more in the intervention group than in the control group (9.8 vs 0.5%; p = 0.04, effect size 0.78). Medical student attitudes towards their home care training in medical school (21.7 vs 3.2%; p = 0.02, effect size 0.94) improved, as did attitudes towards time and reimbursement issues surrounding home visits (10.1 vs −0.2%; p = 0.02, effect size 0.89). Knowledge of geriatrics improved in both groups (13.4 vs 15.2% improvement; p = 0.73). Students described performing a mean of seven separate geriatric assessments (range 4–13) during the home visit. Themes that emerged from the qualitative analysis of the reflective papers added depth and understanding to the quantitative data and supported results concerning attitudinal change.
CONCLUSIONS
While all participants gained geriatrics knowledge during their internal medicine clerkship, students who performed a home visit had improved attitudes towards the elderly and described performing geriatric assessment skills. Requiring little faculty time, a geriatrics home visit program like this one may be a useful clerkship addition to foster medical students’ professional growth.
doi:10.1007/s11606-009-0945-5
PMCID: PMC2669870  PMID: 19294472
geriatrics; home visit; medical student; education; professionalism; narrative writing
25.  Student feedback about The Skeptic Doctor, a module on pharmaceutical promotion 
Pharmaceutical promotion is an integral part of modern medical practice. Surveys show that medical students have a positive attitude towards promotion. Pharmaceutical promotion is not adequately taught in medical schools. A module based on the manual produced by Health Action International was conducted for second year medical students at KIST Medical College, Lalitpur, Nepal. Student feedback on various aspects of the module was obtained using a semi-structured questionnaire. Eighty-six of the 100 students (86%) provided feedback about the module. Forty-five (52.3%) were female and 39 (45.3%) were male. Participant feedback about the module was positive. Small group work and role plays were appreciated, and the ratings of the module and the manual were satisfactory. Respondents felt pharmaceutical promotion will play an important role in their future practice and that the module prepared them to respond appropriately to promotion and select and use medicines properly. The module further developed on issues covered during pharmacology practical and majority felt the module was of relevance to Nepal. Students appreciated the module though there were suggestions for improvement. The module should be considered during the years of clinical training (third and fourth years) and internship and in other medical schools.
doi:10.3352/jeehp.2011.8.11
PMCID: PMC3250589  PMID: 22232707
Learning; Marketing; Students, medical; Nepal; Problem-based learning

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