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Real-time patients' perspectives about participating in teaching consultations in primary care: A questionnaire study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Doyin AlaoORCiD, Dr Bryan BurfordORCiD, Professor Hugh Alberti, Emeritus Professor Roger Barton, Dr Susan Moloney, Professor Gill Vance



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Introduction: Patients presenting with undifferentiated illnesses provide valuable learning opportunities for medical students. Evidence detailing the factors that affect patient participation in undergraduate medical education is limited. This study examines how patients regard their participation in teaching consultations in primary care. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional questionnaire survey in four GP practices. We tested the relationship between variables of interest and willingness to participate, using hierarchical logistic regression. Results: We analysed 525 questionnaires. 88% of respondents were willing to have students take part in their consultation, and 72% were willing to see a student alone before seeing the doctor. Older patients and those with less sensitive clinical problems were more likely to participate. Willingness to participate was also associated with patients’ perceptions of certain costs and benefits of participation. Respondents had poor knowledge about medical education, and a sizeable minority perceived a lack of autonomy about the presence of students in their encounters. More than one-third of respondents expressed the presence of a clinician as a precondition for approval of students’ performing some active roles. Discussion: The findings have identified potential interventions to enhance patient involvement including patient education, respecting patient autonomy, and ensuring appropriate student supervision.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Alao A, Burford B, Alberti H, Barton R, Moloney S, Vance G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Medical Teacher

Year: 2021

Volume: 43

Issue: 6

Pages: 669-676

Online publication date: 22/02/2021

Acceptance date: 05/02/2021

Date deposited: 28/10/2021

ISSN (print): 0142-159X

ISSN (electronic): 1466-187X

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


DOI: 10.1080/0142159X.2021.1887840


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