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Patient–doctor relationships: improving practice and benefits

  1. Top of page
  2. Patient–doctor relationships: improving practice and benefits
  3. Evaluating courses by asking students to predict what their classmates would say
  4. How students use and understand difference in learning opportunities
  5. Really Good Stuff

The fields of social neuroscience and social psychology continually demonstrate that social support has powerful direct biomedical benefits. Accordingly, in this article, Mikesell advocates incorporating social support into both the treatment plan and clinical education. In this article she discusses the literature on the patient–doctor relationship (PDR), highlighting findings from studies adopting an interactional perspective of the PDR. The article describes several concrete interactional practices that have been shown to impact patient responses in consultations and that clinicians might adopt to most effectively consider the PDR, provide social support, improve health outcomes and improve patient and doctor satisfaction.

Mikesell L. Medicinal relationships: caring conversation. Med Educ 2013;47:443–52.

Evaluating courses by asking students to predict what their classmates would say

  1. Top of page
  2. Patient–doctor relationships: improving practice and benefits
  3. Evaluating courses by asking students to predict what their classmates would say
  4. How students use and understand difference in learning opportunities
  5. Really Good Stuff

This study by Schönrock-Adema et al. tested a new method of course evaluation which seems less vulnerable to low response rates than traditional student feedback questionnaires. This ‘prediction’ method – in which students are asked to predict their peers' opinions rather than provide their own personal opinions – required significantly fewer respondents to achieve results comparable to those obtained through traditional evaluation methods. Examination of the method's vulnerability to response bias indicated that a random sampling of 30–40 students was sufficient to obtain an adequate representation of the general opinion of the entire student body in a given course.

Schönrock-Adema J, Lubarsky S, Chalk C, Steinert V, Cohen-Schotanus J. ‘What would my classmates say?’ ‘What would my classmates say?’ An international study of the prediction-based method of course evaluation. Med Educ 2013;47:453–62.

How students use and understand difference in learning opportunities

  1. Top of page
  2. Patient–doctor relationships: improving practice and benefits
  3. Evaluating courses by asking students to predict what their classmates would say
  4. How students use and understand difference in learning opportunities
  5. Really Good Stuff

This study from Yardley et al. considers contemporaneous student interactions with simulated and ‘real’ (authentic) patients in the planned teaching of medical undergraduate communication skills. The authors identified that student perceptions of gaps (differences) influenced and shaped their learning. They propose a conceptual framework for developing educational strategies to use these findings by re-framing common metaphors about gaps. They suggest that rather than bridging, crossing or closing gaps between medical school and workplace learning opportunities, we should manage and mind gaps – discussing differences to expand learning.

Yardley S, Irvine AW, Lefroy J. Minding the gap between communication skills simulation and authentic experience. Med Educ 2013;47:495–510.

Really Good Stuff

  1. Top of page
  2. Patient–doctor relationships: improving practice and benefits
  3. Evaluating courses by asking students to predict what their classmates would say
  4. How students use and understand difference in learning opportunities
  5. Really Good Stuff

The continuing variety and abundance of articles submitted to Really Good Stuff (RGS) led M Brownell Anderson, the Editor of RGS, to consider what makes for a successful paper in this popular and vibrant section. Bringing together her professional expertise, her commitment to international development and improvement in medical education and her rich experience in editing this section, she offers some excellent advice to would-be authors. This invaluable advice prefaces yet another impressive selection of papers that connect readers to the global community of medical educators.

Anderson MB (ed). Really Good Stuff: Lessons learned though innovation in medical education. Med Educ 2013;47:513–35.