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Students’ letters to patients as a part of education in family medicine

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Author(s): Nataša Mrduljaš-Đujić | Ivančica Pavličević | Ana Marušić | Matko Marušić

Journal: Acta Medica Academica
ISSN 1840-1848

Volume: 41;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 52;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Letter to the patient | Family practice | Communication | Doctor patient relationship

ABSTRACT
Family medicine fosters holistic approach to patient-centered practice. Current medical curriculum in Croatia does not have well-structured courses or tools to prepare medicals students for successful communication with the patient and for building lasting and beneficial doctor-patient relationship. We explored the value of students’ practice in writing letters to patients about their illness as a way of building personal and compassionate relationship with patients. Sixth year students at the School of Medicine in Split wrote letters to the patients from consultations under the supervision of the supervisor in a family medicine practice. Structured teaching of communication with the patient brings family medicine back to what has actually always been its main part – communication and doctor-patient relationship. Our future aim is to develop students’ letters to patients as a new tool in the family medicine course examination. Moreover, we will investigate how they can be used in everyday practice of family medicine.

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