Published: 04-11-2019| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/prr8c5gzrc.1
Colin Menezes


Research Aim: To critically assess the ethical implications of training increasing numbers of medical students to the level at which patients’ rights could be infringed in a resource constrained setting. Sampling: A random sample of patients was selected from a central teaching hospital, aged >18 years and admitted to departments of Internal Medicine, Surgery and Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and care–givers in Paediatrics. A matched random sample of students from the same departments were invited to participate. A questionnaire adapted to our local situation from similar studies conducted in Syria and Nigeria was used.(Onotai et al., 2012; Sayed-Hassan, Bashour and Koudsi, 2012) Categorical data was presented as percentages. Comparisons between groups were made using the Chi-square test. Continuous data was presented as means ±standard deviation or medians and interquartile ranges (IQRs). Comparisons were made using the student’s t-test. The p value was set at <0.05 at a confidence interval of 95% for statistical significance. Results: A third (41/118) of the patients were unaware they were admitted to a teaching hospital. Half of the patients (60/118) thought they had a right to refuse interacting with students. Patients’ and students’ preferred smaller groups of between 1-3 and 4-8 students at a bedside tutorial (p<0.001), although patients preferred smaller groups (1-3) compared to the students (4-8). Majority of patients said they never refused consent to students, while a third of students said at least up to three patients refused consent to be examined. Commonest reason cited by students for refusal of consent by patients was the exposure to excessive numbers of students and healthcare professionals.