Perspectives of patients towards medical students at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi
Medical students gaining experience in outpatient’s clinics and admission wards are exposed to clinical clerkship as this is an important part of their training. There is paucity of reported patients’ experiences and perceptions of medical students in low-income settings. The present study was conducted at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH), Malawi to describe patients’ and perceptions of, and experience with medical students being present when patients are seen by a medical doctor or students’ individual clerking. Participants mostly felt that medical students were compassionate, enthusiastic and helpful to them. The participants’ who had been ever clerked by students felt motivated to be present for student learning for altruistic reasons as well as for mutual benefit between student and patient. Patients attending the QECH in Blantyre, Malawi are generally satisfied with the attention and support they obtain from students. Balancing the need for appropriate supervision of students, and facilitating the retention of this patient-cantered approach to care should be maintained.