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The importance of patient involvement as a positive contribution to both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education is now widely acknowledged. Patient contact has become an integral component of teaching, learning and assessment strategies. Research has considered the pedagogic advantage; however, a view from the patient on structure, process and outcome of their contribution has gone largely unexplored. The role of real patients in medical education is changing from passive to a more active involvement. Various commentators have called for more research into patients' perceptions of their role and involvement across a spectrum of educational activities and settings. This study offers an in-depth exploration of the patient perspective from primary care; a setting increasingly important for undergraduate medical education. The aim of this study is to explore patients' perceptions of their role in undergraduate medical education within a UK primary care setting. A case study approach with an emphasis on data from in-depth interviews of 18 volunteer patients conducted within a purposively selected single teaching practice. The study captures patient perceptions of their experience, process and an evaluation of their involvement in medical student education. Findings highlight four key themes of involvement that reflect the existing literature but provide additional insights. The themes are; reflections on level of involvement and organisational support; benefits to students; perceived benefits to patients themselves; and wider benefits to medical education and educators. Patient perceptions of their involvement in clinical teaching support their key intended role within the educational process. Patients identified perceptions of benefit for students, educators and themselves. The implications of these findings are explored within the context of educational practice.


Beverley Lucas, David Pearson. Patient perceptions of their role in undergraduate medical education within a primary care teaching practice. Education for primary care : an official publication of the Association of Course Organisers, National Association of GP Tutors, World Organisation of Family Doctors. 2012 Jul;23(4):277-85

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PMID: 22925960

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