Patients' attitudes towards the presence of medical students in family practice consultations

Shlomo M. Monnickendam, Shlomo Vinker*, Simon Zalewski, Orli Cohen, Eliezer Kitai, Ernesto Kahan, Ishai Shofti, Martine Granek-Catarivas, Gidon Shapira, Shmuel Steir, Suzi Aharonson, Vardina Shumla, Shmuel Givon, Miriam Disgeni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Patients' consent to being part of medical education is often taken for granted, both in primary and secondary care. Formal consent procedures are not used routinely during teaching and patients are not always aware of teaching activities. Objectives: To investigate patients' attitudes and expectations on issues of consent regarding participation in teaching in general practice, and the influence of a student's presence on the consultation. Methods: The study took place in 46 teaching practices during the sixth year clinical internship in family medicine. Patients completed questionnaires at the end of 10 consecutive eligible consultations. The questionnaire contained data on the willingness to participate in teaching, the preferred consent procedure and the effects of the student's presence. The doctors were asked to estimate the sociodemographic level in their clinic area. Results: A total of 375 questionnaires were returned; the response rate was not affected by the clinic's sociodemographic level. Overall, 67% of the patients had come into contact with students in the past; 3.2% of the participants objected to the presence of a student during the consultation; 15% would insist on advance notification of the presence of a student, and another 13.9% would request it; 4% stated that the presence of students had a detrimental influence on the physical examination and history; and 33.6% would refuse to be examined by a student without the doctor's presence. Conclusion: Most patients agreed to have a student present during the consultation; some would like prior notification; a minority refused the student's presence. A large minority would refuse to be examined without the tutor's presence. Our findings need to be taken into account when planning clinical clerkships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)903-906
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2001


  • Consent
  • Consultation
  • Family medicine
  • Medical education
  • Patients' attitudes


Dive into the research topics of 'Patients' attitudes towards the presence of medical students in family practice consultations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this