How Do Junior Medical Students Learn about the Doctor Patient Relationship?

Hamish Wilson, Stuart Chambers

Abstract


Junior medical students have the capacity to engage well with patients at an early stage in their training. With careful coaching, students can also write moving and accurate accounts of their significant learning experiences. In this article, we introduce an innovative learning programme at Otago University in New Zealand, and present carefully chosen extracts from student essays. These extracts illustrate students’ early exposure to, and challenges in, the student-patient relationship, a precursor to their own professional relationships. Reflective writing helps students internalize foundational interpersonal concepts such as meaningful engagement, self-awareness, the role of other health professionals, and the need for self-care. This early orientation towards whole person care may be helpful grounding for future clinical practice.


Keywords


Medical students; doctor patient relationship; experiential learning; reflective practice; whole person care

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References


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