Can patients teach students?
It's time to change the role of patients
- By: Geoff Wykurz
What can patients teach medical students? Nothing - after all, you are learning medicine, acquiring knowledge and skills that only doctors and scientists are competent to teach. Obviously you have to learn about patients, but to be taught by them elevates them to an inappropriate status. If you reject this hypothesis you are presumably prepared to consider that patients can teach you something, but what?
Patients are obviously essential to the process of learning to be a doctor, but their role in medical education is usually passive. They have the status of a learning resource, providing you with opportunities to practise newly acquired skills. However, there is a distinction to be made between “learning from” patients and being “taught by” patients. The shift from passive to active involvement in your education brings potential benefits.
Being taught by patients can offer insights into the patient's experience that you may not discover