Practical training in family medicine in the Dalmatian hinterland: first-hand experience of four physicians
Keywords:Rural family medicine, Student practice, Mentoring in family medicine, Patient communication
AbstractFour physicians working in private family medicine offices in DalmatianHinterland described their first hand experience of teaching sixthyearmedical students. They supervised students during the 2010/2011academic year, in an area that is economically undeveloped, rural, andwhere a number of people live in extended families. Although hesitantat first, the patients came to like the interaction with students, andlater even yearned to provide students with as much information aspossible. They also liked the letters that students had to write to themabout their illness, because they could take them home and look forinformation without needing to see the doctor. The students showeddiverse attitudes to different types of work in family medicine offices,mostly depending on their plans for future career. In general, they eithercomplained or hesitated to perform duties that they did not fullymaster during earlier education, especially working with children.They needed several days to adapt to direct contact with the patients,and were more relaxed and cooperative when working in pairs thanalone. The physicians themselves felt that they profited both from thenovelty in the everyday routine and from the exchange of their experienceswith the students. They liked their young colleagues and admittedthey could not objectively review their own work, knowledge andskills.
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