Introduction Outbreaks of serious communicable infectious diseases remain a major global medical problem and force healthcare workers to make hard choices with limited information, resources and time. While information regarding physicians’ opinions about such dilemmas is available, research discussing students’ opinions is more limited.
Methods Medical students were surveyed about their willingness to perform medical procedures on patients with communicable diseases as students and as physicians. Students were asked about their opinions regarding the duty to treat in such cases.
Results 74% of respondents felt that by deciding to enter medical school they were morally obliged to treat any patient despite the risks. Students’ willingness to treat as physicians is significantly higher than their willingness to treat as students. HIV was significantly the most tolerated disease with respect to performing mouth to mouth resuscitation. Among preclinical students, we found that willingness to treat during the later years is significantly greater than during the earlier years. Among clinical students, the opposite was observed.
Discussion Students’ greater willingness to treat as physicians is mostly attributed to perceptions of higher obligations as a qualified doctor. There is greater but not total willingness to perform resuscitation on patients with HIV relative to other diseases. The increased willingness of preclinical students and the decreased willingness of clinical students both emphasise the importance of patient–physician communication and ethics studies during medical school.
- Education for Health Care Professionals
- Health Personnel
- Clinical Ethics
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Read the full text or download the PDF:
Other content recommended for you
- Exploring medical students’ perceptions of the challenges and benefits of volunteering in the intensive care unit during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative study
- Willingness of Hong Kong healthcare workers to accept pre-pandemic influenza vaccination at different WHO alert levels: two questionnaire surveys
- Public perceptions, anxiety, and behaviour change in relation to the swine flu outbreak: cross sectional telephone survey
- How to increase the attractiveness of undergraduate rural clerkships? A cross-sectional study among medical students at two German medical schools
- Physical activity among medical students in Southern Thailand: a mixed methods study
- Croatian medical students see academic dishonesty as an acceptable behaviour: a cross-sectional multicampus study
- Public health crises in popular media: how viral outbreak films affect the public’s health literacy
- Prevalence and relationship between burnout and depression in our future doctors: a cross-sectional study in a cohort of preclinical and clinical medical students in Ireland
- Professionalism dilemmas, moral distress and the healthcare student: insights from two online UK-wide questionnaire studies
- Ethnic stereotypes and the underachievement of UK medical students from ethnic minorities: qualitative study