What do patients think about the Hungarian health care system and medical students' learning outcomes? A cross-sectional study on the patients' perspective in Hungary

BMC Med Educ. 2023 May 25;23(1):381. doi: 10.1186/s12909-023-04350-w.


Background: The doctor-patient relationship has changed a lot in the 21st century and the varying expectations of the patients play an important role in future professional medical care. The knowledge of patients' needs is crucial in determining the learning outcomes in medical education. The objective of this study was to examine the expectations of the patients regarding professional and soft skills (e.g. communicational skills, empathy) of doctors and to get a deeper view.

Methods: Face-to face data collection through self-reported questionnaire in accredited health care institutions (GPs, hospitals, outpatient care) in Hungary was carried out in 2019. Descriptive statistics, independent sample t-tests, k-means cluster and gap matrices were performed to analyze the data.

Results: In total 1115 patients (male-female: 50-50%, age groups: between 18 and 30: 20%, between 31 and 60: 40% above 60: 40%) participated in the survey. They rated sixteen learning outcomes along with two dimensions: importance and satisfaction. Except for one learning outcome, patients rated the outcomes more important than they were satisfied with them (negative gap). Positive gap was registered only in the case of respecting individual specialty during patient care.

Conclusions: The results suggest the importance of learning outcomes in relation to the rate of satisfaction from the patients' perspectives. In addition, the results support that patients' need are not met in medical care. Patients' ratings also make an emphasis on the fact that besides professional knowledge other learning outcomes are also important in health care which should have been emphasized as a basis in medical education.

Keywords: Gap matrix; Medical teacher; Patients’ expectation; Patients’ satisfaction; Pedagogical skills.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Education, Medical*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hungary
  • Male
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Students, Medical*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires