How Do Junior Medical Students Learn about the Doctor Patient Relationship?
Keywords:Medical students, doctor patient relationship, experiential learning, reflective practice, whole person care
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.
Perez D, Rudland J, Wilson H. The revised Early Learning in Medicine curriculum at the University of Otago – focusing on students, patients, and the community. NZ Med J. 2009(122):1292.
Charon R. Narrative medicine: A model for empathy, reflection, profession, and trust. JAMA. 2001;286(15):1897–902.
Flexner A. Medical education in the United States and Canada: a report to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching New York: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; 1910.
Yardley S, Brosnan C, Richardson J. The consequences of authentic early experience for medical students: creation of mētis. Med Educ. 2013;47(1):109-19.
Dornan T, Littlewood S, Margolis SA, Scherpbier A, Spencer J, Ypinazar V. How can experience in clinical and community settings contribute to early medical education? A BEME systematic review. Med Teach. 2006;28(1):3-18.
Scavenius M, Schmidt S, Klazinga N. Genesis of the professional-patient relationship in early practical experience: qualitative and quantitative study. Med Educ. 2006;40(10):1037-44.
Yardley S, Littlewood S, Margolis SA, Scherpbier A, Spencer J, Ypinazar V, et al. What has changed in the evidence for early experience? Update of a BEME systematic review. Med Teach. 2010;32(9):740-6.
Aukes LC, Geertsma J, Cohen-Schotanus J, Zwierstra RP, Slaets JP. The effect of enhanced experiential learning on the personal reflection of undergraduate medical students. Med Educ online. 2008;13(15).
Kember D, McKay J, Sinclair K, Wong F. A four‐category scheme for coding and assessing the level of reflection in written work. Assess Eval Higher Educ. 2008;33(4):369-79.
Christakis DA, Feudtner C. Temporary matters: the ethical consequences of transient social relationships in medical training. JAMA. 1997;278(9):739-43.
Salovey P, Mayer JD. Emotional intelligence. Imagination Cognition Personality. 1990;9:185-211.
Wagner PJ, Mosley GC, Grant MM, Gore JR, Owens CL. Physicians' emotional intelligence and patient satisfaction. Fam Med. 2002;34(10):750-4.
How to Cite
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. Creative Comons 4.0 CC-BY
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).