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Am J Surg. 1999 Oct;178(4):351-5.

Assessing medical students' competence in obtaining informed consent.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque 87131, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Medical schools increasingly place emphasis on preparing students to perform routine, ethically important clinical activities with sensitivity and acumen. A method for evaluating students' skills in obtaining informed consent that was created at our institution is described.

METHODS:

Formal assessment of medical students' professional attitudes, values, and ethics skills occurs in the context of three required and developmentally attuned comprehensive examinations. A videotaped station tested senior medical students' ability to obtain informed consent from a standardized patient who expresses concern about undergoing cardiac catheterization. Two checklists were completed by the patient. Videotapes were reviewed by a faculty member, and students' reactions to the assessment experience were documented.

RESULTS:

Seventy-one senior students participated, and all performed well. Mean scores of 6.3 out of 7 (range 5 to 7, SD = 0.5) on the informed consent checklist and 8.7 out of 9 (range 6 to 9, SD = 0.5) on the communication skills checklist were obtained. Students endorsed the importance of the skills tested.

CONCLUSIONS:

This method of examining medical students' abilities to obtain informed consent has several positive features and holds promise as an ethics competence assessment tool.

PMID:
10587199
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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