OBJECTIVE: To measure the effect on patient satisfaction of medical student participation in care and the presence of medical student teaching.
DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.
SETTING: Eight outpatient internal medicine departments of a university-affiliated HMO in Massachusetts.
PATIENTS: Two hundred seven patients seen on teaching days (81 patients who saw a medical student-preceptor dyad and 126 patients who saw the preceptor alone), and 360 patients who saw the preceptor on nonteaching days. Five hundred (88%) of 567 eligible patients responded.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Thirteen closed-response items on a written questionnaire, measuring satisfaction with specific dimensions of care and with care as a whole. Visit satisfaction was similar among patients on teaching and nonteaching days. Ninety-one percent of patients seeing a medical student, 93% of patients seeing the preceptor alone on teaching days, and 93% of patients on nonteaching days were satisfied or very satisfied with their visit; less than 2% of patients in each group were dissatisfied with their visit. Satisfaction on all measured dimensions of care was similar for patients seeing a medical student, patients seeing the preceptor alone on teaching days, and patients seeing the preceptor on nonteaching days.
CONCLUSIONS: Medical student participation and the presence of medical student teaching had little effect on patient satisfaction. Concerns about patient satisfaction should not prevent managed care organizations from participating in primary care education.
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This work was supported by a grant from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. The work of Dr. Simon was supported by a National Research Service Award (T32 PE11001-09).
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Simon, S.R., Peters, A.S., Christiansen, C.L. et al. Effect of medical student teaching on patient satisfaction in a managed care setting. J GEN INTERN MED 15, 457–461 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1525-1497.2000.06409.x
- Medical students
- patient satisfaction