The student doctor; a complement to patient care

Kelly Evans-Hullinger, M.D.

NORTH DAKOTA – As a clinical professor at my state’s medical school, I frequently have medical students seeing patients with me in clinic.

While the majority of patients are happy to allow student involvement, some decline. This makes me wonder what misconceptions lead patients to be averse to trainees participating at their clinic visits or hospital bedsides. In my experience, the presence of learners has a positive influence on our work in the clinic and hospital.

Medical education is a complex, highly intensive program that requires years of education and practice. Most medical students are college graduates who performed well in their undergraduate studies and went above and beyond their peers in volunteering, extracurricular activities, and other achievements. After college, some go directly to medical school, and some have variable years of other experiences.

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