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Most Patients Want Experienced Surgeons, Not Trainees
Date:9/23/2011

ing included and only about 80 percent would allow a medical student to participate in their care.

When asked what role they would allow junior residents to have in their care, 57.6 patients said they could act as the first assistant. Only 25.6 percent said they would allow a junior resident to perform the operation if there was direct staff supervision, and a still smaller percentage -- 18.2 percent agreed the resident could participate without direct staff observation.

The study's authors concluded that informed consent is important to surgical patients, and their unwillingness to allow trainee participation in certain situations could have a significant impact on teaching facilities.

"Although most patients express an overall willingness to participate in surgical education, wide variations can be observed in the actual consent rates for specific training situations. This decreased willingness to consent and the potential effect on training programs must be considered when discussing policy initiatives aimed at improving informed consent," the authors wrote.

More information

The National Institutes of Health provides more information on informed consent.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives, news release, Sept. 19, 2011.


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