Exploring medical student experiences of ethical issues and professionalism in Australian general practice

Sturman, Nancy, Farley, Rebecca and Jennings, Warren (2014) Exploring medical student experiences of ethical issues and professionalism in Australian general practice. International Journal of Practice-based Learning in Health and Social Care, 1-8. doi:10.11120/pblh.2014.00037

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Author Sturman, Nancy
Farley, Rebecca
Jennings, Warren
Title Exploring medical student experiences of ethical issues and professionalism in Australian general practice
Journal name International Journal of Practice-based Learning in Health and Social Care   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2051-6223
Publication date 2014-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.11120/pblh.2014.00037
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Place of publication Heslington, York, United Kingdom
Publisher Higher Education Academy
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Student experiences of ethics and professionalism during clinical placements have a powerful influence on their future attitudes and behaviour. International literature in this area has focused predominantly on hospital placement experiences, and relied heavily on analyses of graded student essays. This study aims to explore the medical student lens on ethics and professionalism in the primary care setting, using a different method of data collection.

During weekly tutorials medical students recounted, and reflected on, their general practice placement experiences. Tutors logged the ethical and professional practice issues raised by 43 students over 76 hours of tutorial time. The logs were submitted to a qualitative content analysis from which major themes emerged: mixed messages; uncertainty about professional roles; and a ‘medical student predicament’ (including unsettled boundaries, emotions and personal health concerns).

Findings suggest that the extent of compromise in general practice may challenge student expectations. Students may perceive that their clinical teacher is out of step with previous teaching, especially in areas that are considered ethically grey by their teachers. Students may need support to maintain professional boundaries and personal precautions. Clinical teachers should consider exploring common ethical issues like confidentiality, writing medical certificates, professional boundaries and affordability of health care in contexts which are relevant to students. Medical students are interested in the limits and scope of professional roles. These findings provide insights for general practitioner and other practice-based clinical teachers to reflect on their ethics and professionalism teaching, mentoring and role-modelling.
Keyword Ethical issues
Medical student
Professionalism
General practice
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Discipline of General Practice Publications
Official 2015 Collection
Official Audit
School of Medicine Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 11 Jul 2014, 17:50:41 EST by Dr Nancy Sturman on behalf of Discipline of General Practice