How receptive are patients to medical students in Australian hospitals? A cross-sectional survey of a public and a private hospital

Mark Tiong, John Charles Oldroyd, Michele Rose Levinson

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterOther

3 Citations (Scopus)


Medical student numbers in Australian universities have more than doubled since 2000. There are concerns about the ability for existing clinical training sites to accommodate this increase in student numbers, and there have been calls to increase training in private hospitals. The receptiveness of patients in private hospitals will influence the success of such placements. Aims: We aimed to evaluate whether patients in a private hospital are as receptive to medical students as patients in a public hospital. Methods: Cross-sectional survey of patients conducted at a private and a public teaching hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Main outcome measures were willingness to allow a medical student to participate in an interview, physical examination and Page 3 of 21 Page 3 of 21 procedures (electrocardiogram, venepuncture and digital rectal examination) and patient attitudes toward medical students as assessed by a series of 20 attitude statements and a summative attitude score. Results: Patients at the private hospital were more willing than patients at the public hospital to allow a medical student to take their history unsupervised (112/146; 76.7 v 90/141; 63.8 , p = 0.02). The distribution of patient willingness did not otherwise differ between hospitals for physical examination or procedures. There was no difference in the mean attitude score between hospitals (15.3 ? 0.8 private v 15.4 ? 1.2 public, p = 0.38) and responses differed between hospitals for only four of the 20 attitude statements. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that patients in a private hospital are at least as receptive to medical students as patients in a public hospital.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442 - 443
Number of pages2
JournalThe Medical Journal of Australia
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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