Medical students as patients: implications of their dual role as explored in a vignette-based survey study of 1027 medical students at nine medical schools COMPREHENSIVE PSYCHIATRY Roberts, L. W., Warner, T. D., Smithpeter, M., Rogers, M., Horwitz, R. 2011; 52 (4): 405-412


Medical students experience a range of mental and physical illnesses during training and may encounter significant barriers in seeking health care. Little is known about the issues surrounding the dual role as both learner and patient when a medical student seeks care at his or her training institution.A confidential survey examining medical students' health care needs, practices, and concerns was administered at 9 US medical schools. One part of the survey focused on responses to 4 medical student-patient vignettes. The vignettes systematically varied preexisting student vs preexisting patient status before assuming a medical student-patient role, and the vignettes also varied illness situations that were more vs less stigmatizing. Responses were analyzed using ?(2) and multivariate analysis of variance tests.A total of 1027 students participated. We found that students were more likely to accept the dual role as medical student-patient in vignettes depicting a preexisting patient role than a preexisting student role. Students sought to avoid the dual role as student-patient in the context of stigmatizing health concerns. Women students were more likely than men to reject the dual role in all cases.Medical students appear to be sensitive to the conflicts that may be associated with the dual role as both medical student and patient when seeking care at their training institution. Our data suggest the importance of substantive efforts to promote the health, interests, and well-being of medical student-patients.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.comppsych.2010.09.004

View details for Web of Science ID 000292220600008

View details for PubMedID 21683176