Purpose We sought to understand how best to teach medico-ethics, law and professionalism to undergraduate medical students using a student selected component.
Materials and methods Students received small-group, seminar-based teaching from the module organiser and external representatives from organisations such as the General Medical Council and Medical Protection Society. Experiential learning was also facilitated through attendance at fitness to practice tribunals and Coroner’s court, followed by structured debrief sessions. Two cohorts of medical students(n=40) from Manchester University were surveyed before and after undergoing the placement, with qualitative interviews and thematic analysis for a subset of this group(n=16) and course leaders(n=4).
Results There were significant (p<0.05) improvements in students’ self-reported understanding of key medicolegal organisations and accessing guidance on professionalism. Thematic analysis uncovered increasing confidence in the role of the medicolegal system, barriers to challenging unprofessional behaviour, and a desire for this to be placed in the curricula.
Conclusions This placement was well received and demonstrates an importance for this content to be taught effectively in the medical curricula. Having protected time to attend sessions while an undergraduate may reduce anxiety felt by doctors fearing medicolegal proceedings and help challenge unprofessional behaviours. Further work could explore mechanisms into how best to incorporate this into the medical curricula.
- medical student
- general medical council
Data availability statement
Data is available on reasonable request.
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TP and FM are joint first authors.
Contributors NHM was the course leader of this project. NHM and JG planned the study and JG collated the first data set. TP and FM collated the second round the data and wrote the main body of the manuscript. All authors helped edit the manuscript and approved the final version of the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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