Aim: To explore patients' views on training medical students in their general practice. METHOD AND SETTING: Consenting patients attending eight urban teaching practices completing a self administered survey before and after the consultation.
Results: One hundred and four patients attended for appointments: 94 consented to the involvement of a medical student, 88 completed surveys before and after their consultation (response rate 85%), 80% said the main reason for consenting was to benefit the student, and 70% said they would never refuse the presence of a medical student. Student involvement was less than that consented to: only 18 (20%) patients reported that the student independently conducted any of the consultation; 52 (59%) would accept this level of involvement in the future.
Discussion: Patients are a willing, but potentially under used resource for training medical students in general practice. Improved collaboration with patients would provide better teaching opportunities for students at all levels.