The experience of meeting a medical student at the GP's office

Trygve Skonnord, Julie S. Knutsen, Edvin Schei, Knut Eirik Eliassen

Keywords: Clinical placements, patient experience, undergraduate students


Practicing the role of a doctor with real patients is essential to integrate theoretical knowledge and practical skills. With an increasing number of medical students and longer durations of clinical placements for each student, more patients will encounter a student in the doctor's chair in the future. How do they experience it? Previous studies have focused on students and supervisors in clinical practice. Fewer have explored the patient's perspective. Patients may perceive that students have more time and are more thorough in their examinations, and they feel that they contribute to the students' learning by sharing their own stories and experiences. However, they may be hesitant with regards to mental illnesses or intimate examinations.

Research question(s):

In this study we aim to explore patients’ attitudes and experiences meeting medical students at the General practitioners (GP’s) office.


Students in the later stages of their studies in Oslo and Bergen invite patients to respond to an anonymous questionnaire about their attitudes towards meeting students at their GP's office. Patients are recruited in the waiting rooms of the GP practices, where the students are in placements, and they respond digitally on their own smartphones or an available tablet. Responses are stratified based on whether respondents have had a personal experience of a student encounter or not. Those who have recently had a student consultation will also be asked detailed questions about their experience.


The survey has been piloted at two doctor's offices in Bergen and data collection will be performed throughout 2023. Preliminary results will be presented at the conference.


To facilitate best possible clinical learning, we need to learn more about how patients experience meeting students. Through this study, we aim to facilitate good learning experiences while ensuring that the patients are well taken care of.

Points for discussion:

How to facilitate best possible clinical learning for medical students in clinical placement?

How to take care of the patients when meeting a medical student in the GP's chair?


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