Patients Do not Know the Level of Training of Their Doctors Because Doctors Do not Tell Them
- 163 Downloads
Although patients should know the level of training of the physician providing their care in teaching hospitals, many do not.
The objective of this study is to determine whether the manner by which physicians introduce themselves to patients is associated with patients’ misperception of the level of training of their physician.
This was an observational study of 100 patient–physician interactions in a teaching emergency department.
Measurements and Main Results
Residents introduced themselves as a doctor 82% of the time but identified themselves as a resident only 7% of the time. While attending physicians introduced themselves as a “doctor” 64% of the time, only 6% identified themselves as the supervising physician. Patients felt it was very important to know their physicians’ level of training, but most did not.
Physicians in our sample were rarely specific about their level of training and role in patient care when introducing themselves to patients. This lack of communication may contribute to patients’ lack of knowledge regarding who is caring for them in a teaching hospital.
KEY WORDSphysician–patient relations graduate medical education teaching hospitals
There was no funding of this research. This paper was presented at ACEP Research Forum 2000, and the Southern Medical Association Annual Meeting 2000.
Conflict of Interest
- 1.The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs of the American Medical Association. Medical student’s involvement in patient care. J Clin Ethics. 2001;12:111–5.Google Scholar
- 2.The American College of Physicians. Ethics manual. Ann Intern Med. 1998;128:576–94.Google Scholar
- 5.Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, Accreditation Manual for Hospitals. [monograph on line]. Oakbrook Terrace: Joint Commission Resource Inc.; 2002 [updated 2002 May 2, cited 2002 May 29]. Sections RI.1.2, MS 2.5 and 6.9.Google Scholar
- 10.Lo B. Resolving Ethical Dilemmas, A Guide for Clinicians. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2000:19–28.Google Scholar