Ignorance of the law
Is there enough teaching on legal issues?
As a medical student, how important is it for you to have a grip on medical law? A recent study suggests that although medical students agree that it’s pretty much essential, most have only a hazy idea of relevant law and are not confident in its application in a clinical setting.1
Some may see the law as a hindrance and as “belonging” to another profession, while others are confident that the interface between medicine and law can—and indeed should—be complementary.
Speaking to Student BMJ, lead author of the paper Michael Preston-Shoot explains that legal aspects can sometimes be pushed to the backburner when it comes to the medical school programme. “I think there’s inadequate exposure in the academic part of the curriculum,” he says. “And then when you go into practice I suspect that the legal rules are not sufficiently highlighted . . .” He adds: “And the legal rules,