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ORIGINAL RESEARCH PAPER
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 87-91

Involving Patients in Medical Education: Ethical Issues Experienced by Syrian Patients


1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, and Centre for Medical Education Development, Damascus University, Damascus, Syria
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Damascus University, Damascus, Syria
3 Department of Family & Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Damascus University, Syria

Correspondence Address:
H Bashour
Faculty of Medicine, Damascus University, P. O. Box: 9241, Damascus
Syria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.103453

Introduction: Patients' involvement and their willingness to cooperate in clinical teaching is a vital element of medical education. Clinical teaching at the Faculty of Medicine of Damascus University relies heavily on inpatients at teaching hospitals but also on patients brought to teaching rooms. The purpose of this study was to identify patients' experiences and their attitudes toward the involvement of medical students in clinical consultations within teaching rooms conducted mainly for students' benefit. Methods: In-depth interviews were carried out by a sociologist using an interview guide with 14 patients whose clinical cases were presented to a large group of students in the teaching room at Damascus University teaching hospitals. Data analysis involved content analysis. Findings: Main themes were identified with negative ethical aspects, such as the lack of patient's involvement in decision making and approving to be part of clinical teaching. Risk and benefits were experienced by patients and identified in their experiences. Some felt that they were treated inhumanely and with a lack of dignity. Patients nevertheless felt a responsibility to be part of the teaching process. They expressed their positive attitudes towards involvement in the teaching process to serve medical students as well as the greater community. Discussion: Findings provide perspectives and insights into the current clinical teaching at Damascus University Faculty of Medicine. The findings highlight the need in our institution to carry out medical education involving patients in a more ethical manner. Medical students and their teachers need more training in the ethical involvement of patients in students' learning process, as well as the need to better regulate patients' involvement in education.


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