Author(s): ShahKhan M, Chowdhry S, Brand MI, Saclarides TJ
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Abstract PURPOSE: Patients with colorectal diseases may be reluctant to have medical students present during their outpatient clinic visit, especially when significant disrobing and embarrassing examinations are performed. This study examines patient attitudes in this regard. METHODS: One hundred consecutive patients completed a questionnaire after the conclusion of their office visit. Patient age, gender, race, diagnosis, level of disease, socioeconomic status, and education level were recorded as well as attitudes toward the presence of students in the examination room. Responses were analyzed by using two-sample Z tests or chi-squared tests for comparison of proportions among groups. The pooled-variance t-test was used to compare the difference of means when appropriate. RESULTS: Overall, 81 percent of patients accepted students' presence. Females were less likely than males (77 vs. 86 percent; P = 0.03) and blacks less likely than whites (61 vs. 88 percent; P = 0.004) to accept students. Higher compliance was demonstrated in patients with greater perceived severity of disease (P = 0.03). We found no significant correlation between patient level of education or income and their comfort level with respect to teaching in the examination room. However, racial differences were seen in this category (P = 0.01). Females were more likely to prefer the same gender student, but this was not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: Students are generally accepted in outpatient colorectal clinics (81 percent). Reasons for acceptance of students included being able to contribute to the teaching of future doctors. Reasons for refusal included perceived increased length of the office visit and patient privacy. We noticed significant differences in compliance by gender, race, and severity of disease, but not age, patient level of income, or education.
This article was published in Dis Colon Rectum
and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology