As a community family medicine teacher, I have medical students and family medicine residents join me in the clinic at times. I respect my patient's choice as to whether they want to see a student that day, realizing that there may be various factors involved in their decision. There are, however, many positives to seeing a learner. Toronto family physician Dr. Sheila Wijayasinghe wrote a great article about the benefits of seeing a medical student. Her top five benefits to seeing a student are:
1. You get more time.
2. You’re getting the most up-to-date care.
3. You get two sets of eyes.
4. You may get seen earlier.
5. You can help shape a new doctor’s career.
I absolutely agree. I have had keen medical students and residents ask pertinent questions, or recommend a lifestyle change or practical tip that has stuck with patients. Students are enthusiastic and very grateful for the opportunity to be involved in a patient's care. Finally, I enjoy showing learners the diversity and joy of family medicine, in the hopes of continuing to attract capable, conscientious individuals to the field.