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Med Educ Online. 2016 Jan;21(1):31760. doi: 10.3402/meo.v21.31760.

Medical educational culture: introducing patients to applicants as part of the medical school interview: feasibility and initial impact show and tell.

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a Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of Florida College of Medicine , Gainesville , FL , USA.
b Department of Medicine University of Florida College of Medicine , Gainesville , FL , USA.


Introduction The College of Medicine at our institution underwent a major curricular revision in order to develop a patient-centered context for learning. The admission process was revised to reflect this change, adopting a holistic review process, with the hope of attracting students who were particularly well suited to a patient-centered curriculum and learning culture. Methods Patients from a single practitioner, who were accustomed to working with medical students, were asked if they would like to select the next generation of physicians. The patient's experience included a brief didactic presentation related to the patient's diagnosis and treatment. This was followed by an informal session with the applicants and the physician, where they shared their story in a small group setting. They were encouraged to share their experiences with the healthcare system, both positive and negative. The goal was to allow applicants to glean the importance of the human aspects of disease in our institutional culture of learning. Results The response and experience were overwhelmingly positive for the patients who donated their time to participate and for our applicants. Follow-up surveys indicated that our applicants found the experience to be unique and positive. Many of the students who chose to attend our university cited the interview experience and learning culture as factors that influenced their choice of medical schools. In addition, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education cited the favorability of the admission process in their recent site visit. Discussion Now in its fifth year, we can say that the inclusion of patients as part of the interview day is feasible as part of our admission process. We continue to make changes and monitor our progress, and we have added several other faculty members and specialties in order to ensure the program is sustainable.


holistic review; medical admissions; patient-centered care

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