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BMC Med Educ. 2018 Apr 4;18(1):66. doi: 10.1186/s12909-018-1180-8.

Undergraduate medical students' perceptions and intentions regarding patient safety during clinical clerkship.

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Department of Social Medicine, College of Medicine, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Republic of Korea.
Department of Health Administration and Management, College of Medical Science, Soonchunhyang University, Asan, Republic of Korea.
Department of Hospital management, Graduate School of Public Health, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



The purpose of this study was to examine undergraduate medical students' perceptions and intentions regarding patient safety during clinical clerkships.


Cross-sectional study administered in face-to-face interviews using modified the Medical Student Safety Attitudes and Professionalism Survey (MSSAPS) from three colleges of medicine in Korea. We assessed medical students' perceptions of the cultures ('safety', 'teamwork', and 'error disclosure'), 'behavioural intentions' concerning patient safety issues and 'overall patient safety'. Confirmatory factor analysis and Spearman's correlation analyses was performed. In total, 194(91.9%) of the 211 third-year undergraduate students participated.


78% of medical students reported that the quality of care received by patients was impacted by teamwork during clinical rotations. Regarding error disclosure, positive scores ranged from 10% to 74%. Except for one question asking whether the disclosure of medical errors was an important component of patient safety (74%), the percentages of positive scores for all the other questions were below 20%. 41.2% of medical students have intention to disclose it when they saw a medical error committed by another team member.


Many students had difficulty speaking up about medical errors. Error disclosure guidelines and educational efforts aimed at developing sophisticated communication skills are needed. This study may serve as a reference for other institutions planning patient safety education in their curricula. Assessing student perceptions of safety culture can provide clerkship directors and clinical service chiefs with information that enhances the educational environment and promotes patient safety.


Medical students; Patient safety; Safety culture

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