Lisa Gardiner examines the treatment of patients during finals
For those of you in your final year, this scenario may be familiar. A friend in your tutorial group has obtained a list of patients with clinical signs. There is a possibility that any one of them may appear in your clinical finals. But the hospital you are attached to is a large teaching hospital, with upwards of 30 other final year students and countless younger students. Everyone in the final year at that hospital has an identical list. So each patient on the list is guaranteed a visit from at least 30 students, who each sees the patient only as bibasal crepitations or a diastolic murmur. This makes me uneasy. Every person on that list is dehumanised.
Goodbye autonomy. Goodbye dignity. Hello paternalism.
“But I must examine all these patients to familiarise myself with clinical signs, pass my finals, and become a good doctor.” This is the common reply