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Doctors’ role in long-term care: How do students learn about it?

Lionel Jacobson, AnneMarie Cunningham, Elizabeth Metcalf, Mohammed Mustafa, Gurudutt Naik, Katie Phillips, Katherine Savage, Adrian Edwards.

This paper is an attempt to answer the question of how to help undergraduate medical students learn about the principles of long-term healthcare management. The authors are concerned that undergraduate medical students are often not formally taught about this matter except from the purely technical aspects of longitudinal healthcare provision, and that it is necessary to be aware of certain issues as undergraduate students to facilitate improved expertise as they become qualified doctors. The authors suggest that the topic requires consideration in light of newer concepts of the role and value of long-term health care for patients in general.
The authors propose several ideas about how to achieve this in small group settings, and this paper includes a series of points for discussion within these groups. The list of issues to be discussed includes encouragement for all teachers to discuss long-term healthcare issues with undergraduate medical students, how to develop and maintain positive working relationships over multiple clinical encounters, to be aware of the overall concepts of doctoring, holding relationships, spiritual values within long-term healthcare, and heartsink. The authors hope this novel addition to the curriculum will prove useful as an adjunct to student learning about professional roles.

Key words: Community care long-term care teaching in the community small group teaching

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