Patient-oriented learning: a review of the role of the patient in the education of medical students

Authors


John Spencer Dr Department of Primary Health Care, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4HH, UK

Abstract

Aim

To explore the contribution patients can make to medical education from both theoretical and empirical perspectives, to describe a framework for reviewing and monitoring patient involvement in specific educational situations and to generate suggestions for further research.

Methods

Literature review.

Results

Direct contact with patients can be seen to play a crucial role in the development of clinical reasoning, communication skills, professional attitudes and empathy. It also motivates through promoting relevance and providing context. Few studies have explored this area, including effects on the patients themselves, although there are examples of good practice in promoting more active participation.

Conclusion

The Cambridge framework is a tool for evaluating the involvement of patients in the educational process, which could be used by curriculum planners and teachers to review and monitor the extent to which patients are actively involved. Areas for further research include looking at the ‘added value’ of using real, as opposed to simulated, patients; more work on outcomes for patients (other than satisfaction); the role of real patients in assessment; and the strengths and weaknesses of different models of patient involvement.

Ancillary