Early contact with patients is beneficial

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 11 November 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1159

The title and content of this summary for This Week in the BMJ, reporting on the Learning in Practice article by Tim Dornan and Chris Bundy (“What can experience add to early medical education? Consensus survey”) in the same issue (9 October, pp 834-7) may have misled readers about the message of the article. A better title would have been “Students favour early clinical contact with patients.” The summary should have made clear that the medical students interviewed in the study had not had early experience with patients and that the staff were being interviewed about how they felt early experience might affect the course. There was no evidence that early contact could generate, for example, motivation and confidence as it was a speculative qualitative study.


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